Facebook’s love/hate Relationship with Privacy

Good morning!
Have you done your planting yet?  We have. It was exhausting.

Privacy at the Forefront

Citizens of the Internet (Netizens, if you will) are becoming more and more concerned with privacy, and are becoming more proactive in achieving it. Using proxy and VPN service, password lockers, and many other strategies, people are taking matters into their own hands. Internet behemoths such as Facebook seem to be, on the surface anyway, taking notice.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, already features some relatively beefy security measures such as end to end encryption. Now, self destructing messages may heading for Facebook Messenger, letting users decide just how long a message lasts before expiring and disappearing forever into the Great Internet Ether.

Not that kind of ether.
Not that kind of ether.

But are these measures just lip service on Facebook’s part? Very likely.

You know those cutsie little emotie-options which have replaced the plain old like button? You didn’t think those were just for show did you?

It may be old news but it bears repeating. Facebook is using those emoji and keeping tabs on how you use them, gathering every scrap of data it possibly can to keep you coming back for more. Confirming it to Mic, Facebook will be adding those emojis into the constant stream of data which it feeds the great Difference Engine which is it’s algorithm.

A visualization of data being drained from you and fed into the algorithm.
A visualization of data being drained from you and fed into the algorithm.

Some agencies, such as the Belgian Federal Police, have cautioned people to not use them at all, stating “if it appears that you are in good spirits, Facebook will infer that you are receptive and will be able to sell advertising space by explaining to the advertisers that they are more likely in that way that you will react,” the police said in a statement. “One more reason therefore to not rush to click if you want to protect your privacy”.

So, emoji at your own risk when it comes to Facebook. They are, after all, watching.