Mark Zuckerberg must be sleeping easy these days. Sure he is being cussed out daily by a hornets nest of Facebook purists, a few hip Senators, and the soccer mom here and there but life is pretty good.
Why? Well, he doesn’t have to live in the “capitalist closet” any longer. He had his coming out party at the F8 conference where he basically flipped the privacy cabal the bird.
On stage he announced that Facebook was an advertising business and not a privacy commune. Essentially it’s happy to make money off of social media and NOT champion its ideals.
It didn’t take long to get our opinion.
We’re madder than a kicked rattlesnake. We’re mad because we feel jilted. Not because we actually believed our Facebook data was actually private but because we hoped Facebook was a champion in training for privacy. For years, the privacy pundits have been looking for a modern day Achilles to protect privacy like an avenging angel. Facebook seemed to fit the role.
Facebook decided it wanted to be profitable rather than praised. Afterall, It has investors and smart executives who want to get paid. The shortest route to a phat payday is by serving up user data, (your data) to its advertisers. It also is showing that they have a bad grasp at best on what it means to hold a real conversation with its users. It sucks but Facebook considers your privacy to be a FEATURE not a mandate.
It’s easier to get your head around this by thinking about the relationship you have with your bank. Here’s how it works. You take your cash and deposit it at the bank. The bank takes your deposit and invests it elsewhere. You get miniscule compensation (interest) and the bank’s shareholders get a return.
Same deal with Facebook. You deposit your profile info, friends, status updates, likes, and more. Facebook takes this info and sells it to the highest bidder. You get a FREE service in return (interest) and Zuck gets richer. Note: By the way, no one seems to be upset with the free service part.
We all are squares and arrows in a business model not participants in a privacy revolution.
In the end, Facebook signed up to be a business that offers you a free way to connect with your friends. It did not sign up to be our Privacy Champion. It tried to go through the motions – but in the end it sent us our Dear John letter at the f8 conference.
At least now we’re being honest with each other.
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