There’s more news that the problematic social media giant Facebook shared users’ personal messages with other companies, though if history is any indication, this recent breach of trust by Facebook will just be swept under the rug by most users, as have its other missteps this past year: Its sharing of data with Cambridge Analytica and subsequent congressional testimony by Mark Zuckerberg; its loss of 50 million users’ data in a security breach; and the revelation that the company saved photos that users had uploaded but never posted.
Over the past few years, Glasstire has published articles about Facebook, noting some of its problematic policies. Just a month ago, San Antonio art historian Ruben Cordova was kicked off of the platform for posting pictures of a hyperrealistic nude sculpture. And after writing about her initial (failed) attempt to quit Facebook in 2015, Glasstire founder and publisher Rainey Knudson found new motivation after the reporting on Cambridge Analytica:
“This is the monstrousness of Facebook: its fake connectivity to others leaves us hungry for the real thing, but we can’t go have a decent, healthy meal of human interaction because we’re hooked on Facebook’s sugar rush of comments, likes, and loves. And we give away so much of ourselves — our thoughts, our experiences, our friends and families and even our children — to this grotesque machine that vacuums up everything that makes us special or interesting or unique, and sells it to the highest bidder, to make us click, to make us buy, to make us vote, and apparently to make us parrot arguments in tearful, heated family dinners spoiled by what passes for politics in America today.”
If you’re a Houston-based internet user who is concerned about data privacy on Facebook, or on the internet generally: Rice University is hosting a symposium on data privacy on January 28, 2019. The program, which is presented by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the Ken Kennedy Institute and Urban Data Platform, will run from 1-5PM at the Bioscience Research Collaborative (6500 Main Street). A description of the event is below. For more info, go here.
“Speakers and panelists will provide a platform for stimulating discussion on the current practice, challenges and research in data privacy and protection as we face a world where digital information impacts every aspect of our lives. The symposium will provide the audience with an up-to-date overview of some of the more relevant data privacy issues facing us today. Issues include computational and statistical technologies being developed to secure our digital footprint, policy changes around data privacy, and the ethics of using data.”