How Facebook Betrayed Users and Undermined Online Privacy

Facebook has collected loads of private information about their users — information that is being sold to marketers.

Allan Badinar

In just six years Facebook has crossed the threshold of 500 million users. In the past nine months it has doubled in size and is now the number one most visited Web site in the world, surpassing Google. Facebook’s motto is “Making the world open and connected,” where a lone voice can have a powerful impact, as evidenced this year by one activist’s post on Facebook that sparked a demonstration of 12 million people against the Revolutionary Forces of Columbia (FARC), which had been terrorizing Colombian citizens for years.

But along with its policy of openness and potential for social change, Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for its lax policies toward the privacy of its members.

Behind the Wall

Facebook members have a “wall” where they can post pictures and information (essentially their own web page), chat with each other, and read the latest on everyone in “The Feed.” But behind the wall, users are creating a cumulative data repository of all the relationships in the entire world and the intimate details of everyone’s lives. The databases and algorithms employed at Facebook to store, crunch, and make inferences about you are far greater holders of data than any government agency.

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