DailyPost 881


This is the Shylock story of a pound of flesh without a drop of blood. What a smooth mercenary operation? If the company growth story has been charted, calibrated and executed the way it is unfolding or it is a digital advertising ecosystem that has gone out of control, the cash registers would keep on ringing. It is the audacity of a commercial data sucking machine to make a mockery of it’s 2 billion users, the owners of the data and in the process governments and all legal mechanisms created for safeguarding citizens.

From the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook ecosystem of data loot and psychological warfare in an ongoing democratic process to the Access Tokens Scandal to the present one of App Events and many in between; the recent history of Facebook is gory. It is data bloodshed, what route it takes nobody knows. With all that is tumbling out in the public domain, today it is not unimaginable that there is a chance that all data can also hit the public domain. The vulnerabilities are getting known and there are more than enough hacking capabilities in the world for such exploits, if it’s already not happening.

The present Facebook data row is regarding 11 popular health apps, having millions of users, “spewing data towards Facebook’s servers with little indication to the user of what is going on.” The operational mechanism is simple, the apps in question use a Facebook-provided tool App Events. If has been found that data from App Events power Facebook’s advertising algorithms. The company claims to the contrary. How users use the app is the key to the world of power target advertising. Tangentially though, one a Facebook spokesperson calls it as a industry standard practice. Industry creates a practice on my data and calls it the standard. Which user has accepted it as the standard?

The standard direction to developers not to gather and send back sensitive data in case of Custom Events seems be for purely cosmetic purposes, in the very same manner as Cambridge Analytica was asked to destroy data. There is an uncanny link in the story and also in narrative of skeletons falling out of Facebook’s cupboard, at an alarming regularity. The governments have to act to get back citizens assets. The data black box – golden goose story has already lasted for too long.


Sanjay Sahay

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