This week was marked by (even more) outrage against Facebook as the Cambridge Analytica fracas outrage shifted up a gear or two. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US Congress, after going on a sort of apology spree, then disclosing what many may have already guessed: your data was not exactly safe, not even when you own the company.
Zuckerberg revealed he was among the victims of the Cambridge Analytics scandal. Also, per a Reuters report, Zuckerberg said it would take ‘many months’ to complete an audit of other apps that may also have improperly gathered or shared data. So, the question that should be asked is does the rabbit hole go even further downwards?
As we all are painfully aware, as we progress further into the digital age, the more we are giving away our anonymity.
Tracking has become an everyday norm. As you scroll through something, your preferences are usually tracked by softwares to serve you better ad ‘choices’. But that is not always the case and the whole Cambridge Analytica fracas is an example of the bad side of tracking.
And venturing into conspiracy theories territory, is this another format of subliminal messaging? Subverting our thoughts in favour of something without us becoming aware of it?
This is a big reason why more and more people are taking to the deep web, accessible only via TOR. Sure, because of its anonymity, it is also a magnet for undesirable elements, but the anonymity more than compensates for it. If you are living where Internet is tightly controlled by the powers, anonymity is essential for many things, including grievances. TOR was the medium used by activists like Edward Snowden.
But the big question is, will this scandal result in concrete changes or will it just remain another storm in a teacup?
Zuckerberg has not ruled out regulations on Facebook stricter, but will others follow? This is a strange era. Here, companies can continue to rule the market despite evidence that they are collecting customers’ data without their consent. Or despite various warnings and enough focus in news, people continue to fall prey to phishing and hacking?