Opinion: Facebook – if you don’t like it, leave

Antibes, France - February 22, 2018: User deletes Facebook app from iPhone. The social media platform faces increased scrutiny around personal data privacy and its handing of fake news and extremist content.
Antibes, France - February 22, 2018: User deletes Facebook app from iPhone. The social media platform faces increased scrutiny around personal data privacy and its handing of fake news and extremist content.

PRIVACY – we all believe that we are entitled to it and we are all shocked when that privacy is breached.

This is why #DeleteFacebook started trending in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The app gained access to more than 80 million users’ private data without their consent – a leak that may have manipulated a US election.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is currently testifying before the US Senate.

Members of American Congress were left asking Zuckerberg how private information was leaked to third-party companies.

But, private information has been leaked to third party companies for a long time before Facebook was created.

Big name department stores have been keeping an eye on our shopping habits for a while now.

An interesting story to come out of the US in the 2000s concerned a father who found out his teenage daughter was pregnant after Target sent a coupon to her, via their loyalty program, for baby items which it decided she needed based on her shopping habits.

But we don’t need to sign up to store loyalty programs – and the more than 16 million of us Australians who choose to be on Facebook don’t need to be on there either.

We choose to use these programs. Social media crept up on us and infiltrated our lives until it started to feel like an essential part of modern living.

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So it is amusing to watch people demand Facebook suddenly respect their privacy – after they happily handed over their autonomy with nary a thought to the consequences.

There’s ways to live without Facebook – use Whatsapp for free messages, head to Reddit to indulge in special interests, want to keep up with the news? There’s apps for that.

Bookmark your favourite news website in your browser and check out the latest stories that way each morning.

If you’re using Facebook as a third party login, there’s a solution to that too – keep a database of your logins and passwords.

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If you choose to remain on Facebook, it’s important to realise that your data is not sacred. There’s a chance that it might be leaked or used by third party agents.

Out of interest, only 53 Australians actually used the app responsible for the Cambridge Analytica breach.

As a word of advice – don’t give anyone information that you don’t want to share.

Conduct your affairs offline, make your payments with cash and socialise with friends face to face.

The entire point of Facebook is the antithesis of privacy.

Facebook encourages you to share your data, it encourages you to connect with people you normally wouldn’t talk to on the street.

Facebook encourages you to tell people what you’re up to – it literally asks you “what’s on your mind” when you log in.
If you don’t like it, leave.

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