Anytime that you’ve ever used a Facebook app Like the “Pick a celebrity who looks like you” What you’re doing is you’re giving that app permission to look at your profile and the reason why people are creating those apps is not because it’s fun it’s because they can mine your data and then mine the data of all of your friends and so forth. Facebook makes its money by creating profiles of its users and then selling that data to people or using that data to target ads. In order to make their platform more attractive, they also enable other parties to do similar things. So it’s really not unprecedented especially if you look at data leaks in the last year.
Equifax may seem fairly unrelated, but it’s really not. In that case that was actually gross incompetence. In Facebook’s case, Cambridge Analytica was just using Facebook the way it was intended. Nothing has changed. If you’re an average user for Facebook, all this is doing is raising awareness what Facebook is what it does, what the apps you use on Facebook have the power to do, and it really highlights the fact that Facebook is not in the interest of your privacy. If you tell Facebook that you don’t want an app to be able to access your data anymore, all Facebook can do is prevent that app from accessing your data in the future. If you want the data that has already been collected by it, you actually have to make a request to that company.
Way To Combat
The only way to combat that is to look through every app that you’ve ever enabled on your Facebook and then call those companies and hope they’ll delete your data. There’s really not a good mechanism here to actually delete data that’s stored by third parties. Even if you don’t think that you’re tech saavy or don’t think that you have a vested interest, you do. Because the internet and social media networks are becoming so deeply imbedded in daily life for people particularly in the United States and Europe and places like that, it is greatly in within your interest to understand the privacy implications of what you do online.
It also highlights the fact that there are companies like Facebook that I don’t want to say are intent on preventing you from being able to understand that, but it’s certainly in their interest to and I think that it highlights that there’s maybe potential for legislation or something like that could better protect users.