Facebook seems to be spying on us too1, even speaking on our behalf. Here are some recent examples I have experienced personally:
1. About 3 years ago I was house hunting. I had a handful of email exchanges with a realtor in Berkeley, CA. I have not communicated with her or anyone associated with her (or even much thought about her, really) since that time. But, about a month ago, she suddenly appears as a suggested friend in Facebook?
No! The only way Facebook could have any idea that we could be connected in any way is if they snooped through my address book on my phone or computer. I wouldn’t be surprised if, buried deep in their terms of service, I supposedly gave them permission to do so.
2. When I went on vacation down under, when the Facebook login page loaded in my browser, surprise (not): a kangaroo appears in an advertisement about something. (I’ve gotten rather skilled at not looking at what is being advertised.)
I’ve known for sometime that Facebook keeps track of where I am. But jeeze, I hadn’t even logged in yet! They probably keep track of every place I go through my phone, too. No doubt, I’ve supposedly given them permission to do this, too.
3. I am scheduled to have my teeth cleaned in September. Last night, when I logged in to Facebook, I saw that Steve had liked our bay area dentist. I asked him if he really did. He wasn’t sure, but he knew he had not done so in the past year or so. Is Facebook snooping my calendar too and saw that I have an upcoming dentist appointment and then checked their database for my friends who have checked in at local dentists that pay them for advertising2? Did I supposedly give them permission to do that as well?!
I’ve mentioned before that one of my former college professors, deceased for nearly 2 years now, has supposed been “Liking” businesses in his timeline.
4.This morning, I began exploring mid-century modern furniture in my web browser. I visited several web sites that sell mid-century modern furniture. I then thought I would check out what’s going on with friends via Facebook.
You guessed it. Three of the websites, three of them!, that I had just visited appeared as advertisements in my timeline. I’m not sure how Facebook is monitoring what web sites I visit. Perhaps they are checking the cookies stored by my browser for advertisers that have paid them money to advertise, but what angers me is that they, just like Google, are making money off of me.
What the Future Holds for Me
Yes, you know where I’m going with this—my digital backlash grows. I just have a huge problem with enormous, billion dollar corporations making a small number of people insanely wealthy off of me and you. We have become their digital slaves! I have a right to be left alone—a right to privacy, and I am going to exert that right.
So today I have denied Facebook access to everything on my computer and have, once again, deleted the Facebook apps from my phone and tablet device. Because I get several hits to my blog from Facebook links, I will continue to auto publish from my blog to my Facebook account via a WordPress plugin, but that’s it. I’m not visiting Facebook any more.
This current digital business model is not just a violation of our privacy, it’s not equitable. If we add value to Facebook, and indeed we do3, we should be financially compensated for the value we add. Those who visit Facebook the most and those who add the most content to Facebook should be paid the most money for the value they add! To not pay anyone for the value they add is nothing less than theft, is digital slavery.
And, I hope you have read the articles about the terms of service for the new Facebook messenger app. You are giving them access to turn on your camera and mic without your realtime awareness?! You are giving them permission to place phone calls on your phone?! My god!
Facebook is some evil shit, and they are not our only digital masters! The amount of information transglobal corporations have already collected about us is a very serious outrage! Digital technology and the world wide web have become the greatest spy apparatus the world has ever known. The Nazi gestapo couldn’t have dreamed of anything more perfect!