Social platforms have become indispensable in this digital age. There is no way out, whether or not we like this platform. Facebook enables us to communicate with friends and family and to keep up with current events globally. Facebook data mining has become a hot topic we discuss today.
Who does Facebook sell its collection of user information to? Any purchaser who can afford it. even foreign actors, as we observed during the 2016 election. Facebook will sell whatever small portion of our private lives it is able to. Learn more about Facebook’s use of big data by continuing to read.
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Personal Data On Facebook
User can include a wide range of personal information on their Facebook page, including their date of birth, interests, sexual preferences, political and religious affiliations, and current employment. Additionally, users have the option to upload photos of both themselves and other people, giving other Facebook users the chance to find them and get in touch with them online. In order to look for patterns in people’s behavior, researchers have discovered that a significant amount of personal data on Facebook and other social networking sites can be easily collected or mined.
For instance, social researchers at numerous universities around the world have gathered information from Facebook pages to get to know the social networks and lives of college students. Additionally, they have collected information from MySpace in order to understand how people express their emotions online and to determine what young people believe to be acceptable online behavior using the information posted on MySpace.
Read More: Difference Between Big Data and Data Mining
Harvesting All Of Us
Not that we weren’t made aware of the risks associated with disclosing personal information online. And many of us do take security measures with some of our sensitive data. However, as a whole, we believe that all those free online services are worth the gradual loss of privacy.
Therefore, over time, Facebook and other Internet giants amass all of our personal data points. The value of a given set of data for data mining increases with the amount of data present. It develops into Big Data over time and in relation to other individual data points. Then, using data integration, it is combined with additional data sources—of which we, the end users, are unaware—on the back end.
Identifiable data is being collected in more dimensions than most users have ever realized. Some apps now offer “general” surveys or take note about group preferences, but are really harvesting detailed notes that track us individually.
These apps, we know, use data analytics to analyze “friends of friends” comments to compile data about us. From textual analysis or online behavior, they can even infer our current emotional state. A person’s volume and variety of online interactions can now be used to infer their potential level of sadness or depression.
A Cautionary Culture
Consider China as of right now. To keep track of each person’s social reputation, the government is constructing a massive system. Why shouldn’t admirable individuals be honored and rewarded? It’s not just a reward, though. Authorities may directly influence and/or control who is given jobs, travel opportunities, and educational opportunities by using this reputation.
The Chinese government has access to all financial transactions, reported recorded personal interactions, and online activity on phones and apps. In China, every person will be subject to minute surveillance. Everything people do will always be auditable.
Now, back to Facebook: Recently there was an online “fun” app in which users were encouraged to submit two pictures of themselves, 10 years apart. Privacy experts believe that this was merely a flimsy pretext for gathering enormous amounts of training data, which would be used to vastly scale up algorithm development. Naturally, all of this increases the commercial value of that sizable Facebook photo library. If you gave a machine access to your private selfies, it could learn how to erode one more layer of your privacy.
Are we really trying to get anywhere very different when we contrast China with our freedom-oriented Western culture? I worry that social media sites like Facebook have pushed us far down this negative path.
Advertisers are waiting like ravenous vultures thanks to this vast gold mine of data. Facebook is the most popular social platform for marketers, according to the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
Facebook has consistently provided its users with assurances that their information is only shared with their consent and anonymized when sold to marketers. However, issues still seem to crop up; there have always been high levels of privacy concerns among Facebook users, who ask, “Is Privacy Dead?”. As an illustration, many users criticize Facebook for having confusing or unclear privacy settings. Users frequently share information without intending to.
Two Problems With Facebook
Ken Rudin states that companies who rely on Big Data often owe their frustration to two mistakes:
- They rely far too heavily on a single technology, such as Hadoop. Facebook is dependent on a sizable installation of the open-source Hadoop framework, which uses a collection of inexpensive servers to solve problems. For this purpose, the business even creates its own hardware. Mr. Rudin says, “A 300 petabyte data analysis warehouse is where Facebook’s analytical process gets started. In order to study the data, it is frequently taken out of the warehouse to respond to a particular query. In addition, a search engine that indexes data in the warehouse was developed by the team. These are just a few of the numerous technologies used by Facebook to organize and process data.”
- Big data is used by businesses to provide meaningless answers. Mr. Rudin also says, “A meaningful question at Facebook is one that yields an answer that serves as a foundation for altering behavior. A question isn’t worth asking if you can’t see how the answer would cause you to alter your business procedures.”
Trust Issues On Facebook
A basic level of goodness in everyone is presupposed by an implied social contract that exists between individuals. However, a lot of people overlook the fact that Facebook is a for-profit organization and not a reliable confidante or even a unbiased platform. Even if we think that protecting our online privacy is already a lost cause, we’d be smart to keep in mind that not everything we do has to be made public and given directly to for-profit organizations.
Trust ought to be difficult to gain and should be continually re-validated when it comes to faith in outside sources. We must remember that deciding to share passive data is a conscious act of trust. I’m not advocating that we stop using the Internet or cease social networking with our loved ones over technology. But as we said back in my Air Force days – “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”
Facebook may be where your friends are, but it is not your friend.
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