I Just Can’t Quit You, Facebook

Open phone. Check Facebook. Check email. Read article about newest Facebook privacy scandal.


Check Facebook.

People can’t stand the way social media companies treat their online privacy. Yet people can’t get off social media.

Pew Research Center shows 68% of Americans use Facebook, and mobile time has rocketed up to an average of 3 hours 43 minutes a day, surpassing time spent on TV. We’ve been logging plenty of hours of TV before, why the sudden panic over mobile?

Your TV doesn’t give a record of your entire data history to advertisers.

In 2014, 91% of Americans agreed or strongly agreed that they’ve lost control over their personal information. The same year, 80% of social media users said they were concerned about advertisers and businesses accessing the data they share on social media platforms.

This was before Cambridge-Analytica-gate. Before Alexa and Siri became active pocket listeners. Before saying “cat food” out loud enough times led to 4 Purina ads in your instagram feed an hour later.

The good news is that people are catching on.

According to a 2019 Consumer Reports survey, 25% of Facebook account holders say they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about the volume of personal information Facebook collects and stores. The weird thing is– our actions don’t match our words: only one in 10 Facebook account holders stopped using the platform after learning about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook data— or one of the various scandals that followed.

We talk a lot of game when it comes to controlling who gets access to our data. Come game-time, however, our actions don’t match our words.

Privacy is still the holy grail when it comes to data. Facebook knows this, as evidenced by its recent pivot to a “privacy company.” Apple’s been rolling out “Privacy. That’s iPhone” ads since January 2019. Perhaps this is the logical next step as the interruption culture continues its trip towards the backseat. Either way, businesses need to respect consumers’ privacy to be effective.