“I realized that I’d been selling my data for free for ages, and decided it was time to cash in.”
Oli Frost demoing the shirt hook, or ‘shook’
Google and Facebook are two of the most valuable companies in the United States and the majority of their revenue is derived from selling advertisements. The reason that these giants of Silicon Valley are able to command a whopping three-quarters of the US ad market is because of the extensive amount of data they have on their users, which can be used to target ads with uncanny precision. This user data is not impervious to abuse, as the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal reminded us, but even in the wake of the misuse of 87 million Americans’ data, Facebook’s net worth only took a small hit.
“This kind of mass data collection was not only allowed but encouraged by Facebook, which sought to keep developers building on its platform and provide companies with all the tools they need to influence and manipulate user behavior,” the lawsuit said. “That’s because Facebook is not a social media company; it is the largest data mining operation in existence.”
That same day, Facebook confirmed that it has been keeping texting and call logs for millions of people who use Android phones to access Facebook Messenger, adding to a growing backlash over how the company handles the user data that drives its record-setting profits.
Facebook addiction linked to narcissism and other psychological factors, study finds
“Currently, the social networking site Facebook is used by over 2.1 billion people. Worldwide, users spend a lot of time interacting on Facebook with other platform members and presenting themselves. Some of the members lose control over their Facebook use and develop a strong psychological need to stay online, despite the possible negative consequences of this behavior – the so-called Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD),” explained study author Julia Brailovskaia of Ruhr University Bochum.