Why should you stop Facebook from selling your data?
Facebook is a delightful and well-executed platform that can become a bad habit hard to break up with in the future. We love those emotions coming with scrolling that silky smooth glass panel and seeing all high definition multi-coloured pictures, videos and exciting stories. It is so good we never have enough of it. We stare into our screens for hours every day, which they want us to do. They want us to stay on their platforms hence their acquisitions, to track absolutely all aspects of our lives and control what and when we see and what will reach us and whatnot. They manipulate who will place the ad in front of our eyes and who will not. It is limiting your choice and increasing their profit potential exponentially. Rot in hell, Zuckerf**k! Did I mention all the scandals they didn’t even bother to apologize for? Selling on 50+ million users details? What happened after? Zuckershit went on and made few constipated facial expressions, and if you post something negative about them or anything they don’t like, your account will be restricted for 30 days. Most of us let them do it for the comfort of seeing anything we wish on our phones and computers, but few will not and will take advantage of the platform to make a cool profit simply by messing about on Facebook.
Facebook app has been downloaded over 5 billion times from Play Store on Android alone.
It is not only an excellent traffic source; it is the most recognized and popular social media platform. It will appear fantastic to most of us for many reasons:
- Keep in touch with our friends and family.
- Check the news.
- Find organic and responsive traffic for your business, or just simply mess around.
We just open the app, scroll quickly to the content we are interested in right now, message a few friends, and that’s all we do. We tend to think that all this data is not relevant to anything significant.
You couldn’t be more wrong. You are being tracked day and night, and your data is being traded for real money. Yes, you got this right, actual money to the tune of billions of dollars every year and change! Unless you have changed the default settings on your Facebook app, you are being tracked on Facebook and actively browsing your feed. Whenever you are not on your Facebook app, they track what apps you use, how long, what you were scrolling through, what you were stopping at, your location, etc. Yes, it tracks you even off the app itself and all with your permission. Multiply it by all users and all advertisers buying this data, and you will come up with astronomical amounts of money. Cutting their influence into your life may require few adjustments to your ways, but in the end, it will be worth it.
So what? I enjoy using the app and don’t see your point!
I was thinking about some analogy that I could bring here. All I could come up with was rude and depressing, so I decided not to do it in the end.
To understand what is going on behind closed doors, you need to know what the social media platforms are and how they profit using your detailed behaviour data. You can easily name few top companies in the world. Everyone can. What not everyone knows or care to know is who owns who and why?
TLDR-Too Long Didn’t Read.
I’m guessing that, just like myself, most users just ticked the box beside T&C’s while signing up, not caring what that means as long as we can access the app fast and enjoy the content, which is a classic example of TLDR, which stands for Too Long Didn’t Read. To make it worse, Facebook and Co will happily take advantage of this fact in a heartbeat. Facebook is one of the most prominent players on the market today because it owns Facebook with integrated Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
What does it mean to you? A lot.
I agree that it may look totally innocent today, but soon it will matter more and more as our technology and its use grows exponentially at a crazy speed. They also collect data that you wouldn’t share with them, and they are simply hopeless regarding keeping their user’s data secure and safe.
Let’s take Facebook Messenger, for instance. I personally believe that it is the single, most disgusting piece of malware legally available online today. Downloaded over 5 Billion times, harvesting terabytes of data every second as you read this article. The numbers o Gigabytes processed every second is hard to comprehend to an average user like you or me.
Astonishingly, those people are oblivious to what’s happening with their last scraps of privacy and throwing it away for a bit of comfort of “keeping in touch” with our “friends” and family. The truth is that messaging is a little piece of the whole Facebook Empire is called “Messenger.” Just have a closer look at what is collected by Facebook Messenger alone:
Scandal after scandal, tonnes of data stolen, yet people seem to not care too much about this. I used to know my parents the most, I mean like nobody else knows them more than I have. Not anymore, I don’t know them nearly at all, and while my father didn’t succumb to the online world yet, my mother is an absolute Facebook junkie. If that’s not enough, she is candid and shows her true self through her posts and refuses to cut the control Facebook has over her life today.
I am trying to say that we are losing our humanity and heritage to platforms designed to milk us till we die.
WhatsApp shoot its own foot.
Excellent app, RUINED! Nothing is there forever, everything is changing, and we are supposed to get used to it by now. What goes up must come down, as they say, and down goes WhatsApp, one of the best communication apps ever! Now WhatsApp is not much better than your Messenger so enjoy. NOT!
Acquisitions are happening to many businesses, apps, websites and so on. Some of them are gathering attention, some not, and some are totally hidden from the daylight. All the best things today are acquired by Multi-billion Mega Companies harvesting all data about us, which can be used against us in the future. Near or far, it doesn’t matter, have no illusion-they will never forget. We, humans, are forgetting small, little details in our life. Our lives are made of trillions of little moments like this, and all together or combined to the endless possibility can create powerful leverage against us, which we cannot grasp just yet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying to ditch social media altogether, but we need to limit what they know significantly or face the inconvenience in the future.
Mass data harvesting
Below you will find most of that data harvested and traded compiled together, all by your consent.
Keep in mind that only data harvested by apps owned by Facebook are listed here:
Your contacts, the messages you send and receive, your emails,your calendar, the files you download, your music, your photos and videos, the games you play, your browsing history, your search history,what you listen to, what you watch and how long, how fast you scroll, how long you stopped and what you look at, your purchases, your health&fitness, your financial info, your location, your precise location, your coarse location, your credit info, your email addresses, your physical addresses, your name, your phone number, your user content, your photos, your videos, your game-play content, your user ID, your device ID, your advertising data, your usage data, your product interaction data, your device diagnostics data, crash data, performance data, other diagnostic data, your sensitive info, every file you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent, every message you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, things you’ve liked and what you and your friends talk about, including all the stickers you’ve ever sent on Facebook, every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device, all the applications you’ve ever had connected to your Facebook account, what applications you have installed, when you use them, access to your webcam and microphone 24/7, etc.
As far as I’m concerned, Facebook blatantly ignores any ethics whatsoever and keeps harvesting the data they could do without.
As their users and members, we can cut their reach into our lives significantly without any trouble. I think we all agree that they take away more than they deserve, even if their platforms perform pretty damn well.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
You can dramatically reduce the influence that Facebook has over your life simply by adjusting few settings and uninstalling or simply disabling few dumb apps.
Yes, I get it; there are loads of people that make a living using Facebook. You certainly can get paid for just messing around on Facebook or just get organic traffic to your offers.
The truth is, due to the significant number of scams on Facebook, the traffic will not necessarily be that good in some instances.
And the worst that can happen, Facebook decides that your account infringes their T&C’s and lock or altogether remove your account without any explanation citing privacy concerns. I know it first hand as a regular in “Facebook Jail”.
Today, solution couldn’t be more straightforward:
- Fire up to YouTube and search for ‘Ways to stop Facebook spying on me.’ Here is the direct link: https://youtu.be/F-vjQNgHi9s
2. Message all your friends that you are moving to Signal and uninstall Facebook Messenger (you can still use it in your browser [running at least duckduckgo])
3. Message all your contacts that you are moving to Signal for the reasons you have WhatsApp in the first place and then uninstall WhatsApp.
4. Install Signal and enjoy 100% private and secure, fully encrypted messaging without data harvesting: https://signal.org/install
I’m not going to be a hypocrite. I will admit that after uninstalling Facebook, I was absolutely annoyed with the browser experience (especially on incognito mode as pictures were hard to download, for example), and gone ahead and downloaded the app back. I have totally disabled it every time I leave it, including all data and revoking any previously given permissions, so Facebook can’t see anything.
Think about it and do yourself and your friends a big favour and cut Facebook’s tentacles before it is too late. It may not be as complex or as complicated as it may seem to be but maybe reliving to know that your data is not handed over to the highest bidder every day.