In this modern era of technology and rapid communication, its almost impossible not to find something on Facebook or Google. Whether its the name of some far off celebrity’s kid, or the details of an event happening in your area, Facebook and Google will have the information you need.
But this access to vast amounts of information comes with a hidden cost
Google and Facebook collect hundreds of terabytes of people’s personal data everyday as a part of their business model to sell to marketing agencies. This data collection encompasses a wide variety of data from searching habits, to online purchases, to even political and religious beliefs. This high level of data collection has a few people concerned.
“We know, in the surveillance context, we’re deeply deeply worried about social sorting and the implications of possibly discriminatory stereotyping” says Jacquelyn Burkell, associate dean of the school of information and media studies at Western University. Burkell say that the idea of censorship or the manipulation of information has troubled privacy advocates around the world. Burkell also says that increased surveillance doesn’t always mean increased safety. “You have to look if that idea of trading privacy off against security -and if their is any basis for that- and a lot of privacy advocates would say no”.
Burkell also says that most people aren’t aware of the extent of Facebook’s data collection and profiling capabilities. Currently over 1.5 billion people actively used Facebook in the 3rd quarter of 2015.