Rant

short memory

Short Memory

April 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

We humans have a short memory quite often. In fact, that’s usually an incredibly effective defense mechanism. Would you imagine how we would be without it? To remember all the things that bothered and affected us recently and throughout the years? That would be a perpetual nightmare. But, at the same time, our short memory is what permits various individuals and entities to have the confidence they can push the boundaries further than we would accept if we wouldn’t forget what they did in the past. Every once in a while it’s interesting to follow up with the aftermath of a scandal. It wasn’t so long ago since the outrage of data-selling and then use outside the expected advertising purposes started for Facebook. Then Mark Zuckerberg did his part at the hearings and the whole thing began to fade away. To be honest, it quite slipped my mind too, being preoccupied with more important and personal projects for me, so I understand if you forgot about it. But why do I bring the subject up again? I probably wouldn’t have, but the quarterly report came for Facebook this week. Would you like to guess how they were, scandal, closed accounts and all? Well, the idea is first quarter results were higher for both earnings and total number of users, but… Q1 ends on March 31st, and Cambridge Analytica data-selling scandal first broke during March, which means it most likely didn’t have time to affect first quarter results. Ok, I’m not going to turn this into a financial blog. What I remarked was that immediately after the report was made public, Facebook shares jumped by over 8%. So, everything is ok now? Forgotten and things can move on as if nothing had happened? Great! Nice show then. When will Hollywood make […]

data-selling

Thoughts in the Social Media Data-Selling Ongoing Scandal

March 31, 2018 // 4 Comments

The ball was dropped by Facebook (or more exactly by one of their clients) when it comes to huge privacy issues which resulted in the data-selling scandal we all know now. If the ball would still be in play, the practices would continue, and everyone would carry on with their happy or not so happy lives. Tell me if I’m wrong! The reality is EVERY company (ok, let’s leave room for exceptions: MOST companies) which have large databases of user information and their preferences or habits, are at some point tempted to use data-selling to increase their profit margins. Facebook is definitely not alone in this practice, but their extensive information about users’ behavior, background, relationships, likes and dislikes, make their data very valuable to customers (and we’ve seen what it can be used for) and the privacy breach even more intrusive for their users. I understood a long time ago exposing intimate aspects of my life to one company or another (or the government for that matter) is not something I want to do. I also saw the increasing manipulation power of such platforms. I only had one personal social media account, and that was on Facebook and stopped using it for years. A few days ago I deleted it entirely, after all it served no purpose. The data-selling scandal may not yet be over. On April 10th, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey, the CEOs of the giants Facebook, Google (Alphabet), and Twitter are formally invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite the huge scandal, I don’t feel something significant will change unfortunately. The incident will be forgotten in time. And the power at the disposal of these giants will continue to grow.