What should you think about when using Facebook?

Every time you tag yourself in a picture, Facebook recognizes you and will adjust accordingly.

Facebook collects data about you in hundreds of ways, across numerous channels. It’s very hard to opt out, but by reading about what they collect, you can understand the risks of the platform and choose to be more restrictive with your Facebook usage.

... if you posted something like, “I just HATE my boss. He drives me NUTS,” and at the last minute demurred and wrote something like, “Man, work is crazy right now,” Facebook still knows what you typed before you hit delete.

... even if you delete a post, Facebook keeps track of that post. Facebook keeps track of the metadata, or the data about your data. For example, the data of a phone call is what you actually talked about. The metadata is when you called, where you called from, how long you called for, etc.

...

Facebook allows you to download a subset of the data they have in their database about you.

This is an awesome investigation into how and why Facebook collects data and what type data they collect.

For my part, something I personally as a data professional have done is send Facebook recruiters that email me the following message:

Dear Recruiter,

The way Facebook collects and uses data, including:

reselling user data to advertising companies like Acxiom, tracking user browsing, facial recognition, the creation of shadow profiles, and particularly social science experimentation like emotional contagion*, the use of algorithms in the News Feed to create a filter bubble and, most importantly, give access of the wealth of data Facebook has made available to government bodies like the NSA has made me not only strongly oppose working there but has made me strongly evaluate my usage of Facebook, because I never know how every keystroke I enter into the system will be used.

If Facebook as a company is committed to changing direction and

using data to fight some of these issues actively working on ways to delete unnecessary data* actively working on private, secure communication that is not party to government interference and actively working on ways to prevent private customer data from being shared to unnecessary third parties I would love to know.

Sincerely,

Vicki

Like this post?

Sign up and receive a quarterly dispatch with my latest articles on product management, design, technology and politics.