Tim Cook Speaks Out On The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Says Facebook’s Collection Of User Data ‘Shouldn’t Exist’

from Tech Insider

Apple CEO Tim Cook has weighed in on the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that Facebook has been grappling with for the past two weeks.

British data company Cambridge Analytica was able to obtain Facebook user data for over 50 million people by abusing Facebook’s own tools, causing an uproar that knocked billions off of Facebook’s market value and forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to publicly apologize.

The Apple CEO said the situation is “dire” and that he believed regulation is necessary during a public speech in China on Saturday – without specifically mentioning Facebook by name,according to a Bloomberg report.

More here.

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18 Responses to Tim Cook Speaks Out On The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Says Facebook’s Collection Of User Data ‘Shouldn’t Exist’

  1. Connor Wiedeman April 3, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

    Apple is a company that is well known for its not so private privacy policies. Many people outright refuse to make a Facebook account solely due to the fact that by making it would be giving up much of their online privacy. This is a dangerous system because the ones who don’t make Facebook accounts are the well informed, but as for the ill-informed, they make a Facebook and use it without knowing that most of their online activity is now being tracked. This is legal because the people signing up never read the privacy policy presented to you when creating an account because nobody wants to spend the time. As a result, millions of people are happily using Facebook daily without having any idea of consequences; your online life is now an open book.
    In the article, it was interesting to hear Apple CEO Tim Cook’s take on the matter at hand. I was not surprised to learn that he took a hard stance against it, being that apple has conflicting values with Facebook regarding privacy, and also considering that they are both tech rivals. I think that Apple’s concerns of user privacy is what sets the company aside from the rest. It is somewhat disheartening to think that Apple is a unique company because they care about users’ privacy. I firmly believe that a high standard should be set and maintained regarding the protection of users’ data and personal information. If every tech platform and search engine is just handing out your online data for money, then the population will quickly lose trust in these providers such as Google and Facebook. If more of these scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica continue to occur, then I think it could harm the image of the internet and give it the blanket stereotype of always being tracked. It puts the image in peoples minds that when you log onto the internet, your personal data is just being sent straight into big company’s servers, which it is in the case of Facebook and Google.
    I also think that Mark Zuckerberg’s response came up short. He attempted to offer some solutions that Facebook would implement, but I feel that he is only offering to do the bare minimum so Facebook can continue to earn revenue on people’s data, yet the masses may think that he has put an end to it. It is something to think about that if Facebook were to stop collecting personal data from your profiles and selling it to advertisers, then they would not exist because they would not be making any money. The basis of Facebooks entire profitability relies on collecting the personal data of people on their platform. This makes me think that any “solution” Facebook offers relating to the privacy invasion being committed on their platform is only superficial, because any real solution would crush Facebooks income.
    Overall, I think most people with common sense know by now that with Facebook accounts, there isn’t much being kept private. Because of incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, I think people will be a lot more hesitant to post things onto their account than they have been in the past. I also think it is a shame that the internet has turned a lot of people’s lives into an open book for anyone to read, but without actual laws being passed in congress that protect users, big companies like Facebook and Google are not going to stop collecting people personal data out of the goodness of their hearts; especially when there is money to be made in a legal way.

  2. Nicholas Marinelli April 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

    The whole business behind user data, in my opinion is smart, crafty, and cunning, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a scheme. Although I believe it is smart, I do not believe it is right. Tim Cook states that user data and privacy is a “fundamental human right” and he could not be any more correct in that regard. But the problem with the privacy and data is that the human person disregards their right, disbelieving the truth that it is a right, and instead decide to sign their life away in the user terms and conditions. Everyone has been culprit to it, and it is known as FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out in society. Instead of asking yourself the question of “what will happen to me if I give them my data, information, and life”, we ask: “what will happen to me when I do not agree to sign up?”. This unfortunate perception we have is clouding the minds of users, while we put companies above those clouds. Time Cook took over for Steve Jobs and continued the fundamental idea that is not seen too often in today’s technological society; that idea is that the user’s data belongs to the user, going back to his claim that privacy is a fundamental human right. I think it is great that the European Union is creating extremely strict privacy guidelines that require companies to add an “opt-in” feature for their customers for marketing campaigns. Possessing an interest in the financial and technology fields, in particular investments, it is interesting to see what this will do to companies stock prices and the market overall. Will this have a great enough affect to effect the revenue structures of major corporations that survive solely off of data marketing, or will they be smart enough to come up with new structures on how they will do business. This regulation- the EU’s “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) will definitely shake up industries and companies; social media marketing, a niche I was interested in getting into, is now changed. Rather than companies having all the click history in which they were able to see if their services was the right fit for someone is completely squandered; there will be a race to create new algorithms and business models to attract customers. Marketing is now completely changed and so are company’s reputations. Will Facebook be able to bounce back from this? I believe so. What it does is create an opportunity for people to change their practices while they still have the chance and create a better environment for the user. Unlike FB and Google, Apple is solely a hardware provider and rejects the notion of harnessing their user’s data, privacy information, and health records. They market themselves as “Apple products are designed to do amazing things. And designed to protect your privacy”; this reassures the user that they should have complete trust and confidence in a company dedicate to the protection of their data. What is interesting from Apple is when they said, “we view the future as consumers owning their own health data”. This again shakes up the healthcare industry in giving the user the ability to hold this information and keep it for themselves.

  3. Mark Marino April 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

    As data privacy has come into the spotlight with the reveal of Cambridge Analytica and its Facebook connection has come public, many wonder how other tech giants would reply to these allegations. Apple has probably been most protectant of our data- as far as we know. When the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone was refused to be unlocked by Apple, they took a stand with personal security and how much that is valued to Apple. Thinking about it, much of our data is in the hands of Apple. From the websites we go on to the things we search on those websites, credit card information, home address, even our fingerprint data is stored on their devices therefore, accessible to Apple. Quite scary if you ask me. Since Facebook has been brought under scrutiny, many other tech companies have been brought into question such as Twitter. I believe the American people are finally realizing how much of their information is in the hands of private corporations. Even to the service providers. Although, as we’ve seen in Sony v. Universal, if “illegal” activity is going on, production companies cannot go after to the producer of the product which conducts the illegal act, only the person who commits it. To have the resources to find and sift through every person’s computer or data storing device for illegal material is just impractical. If you are caught with that data, there are harsh punishments that come along with that. The integrity of tech companies cannot be ignored here. If Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple says they are protecting user data and then is later found to be selling that data, then they have a huge problem on their hands. Today, that would probably tank a company as we see with Facebook. They are battered and bruised but based on past history, they will come out okay and come up with new ways to generate revenue, hopefully not on the users’ expense. If Facebook has a lot of information on us about our digital lives, it is even scarier to think what Apple has on our personal lives.

  4. Alexa M April 4, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

    I agree with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook that Facebook’s situation that gave Cambridge Analytica access to user’s data without authorization is quite frightening. I find it very careless of Facebook, a site with 50 million users, not to have adequate security of their user’s data to make sure that this did not happen. After watching Mark Zuckerberg’s public apology, he states that Facebook will now be analyzing thousands of apps to investigate and see if the apps given access to Facebook have been having unauthorized access to user data. In my opinion, Facebook should have been investigating and analyzing apps from the very start. I do not trust Facebook after this Cambridge Analytica scandal because I believe Facebook is a big enough company to have the adequate resources to make sure that this type of thing doesn’t happen. Am I one of the 50 million users whos data has been accessed? If I am, Mark Zuckerberg claims that I will soon be notified. Many have deleted their Facebooks and it is influencing many others to do so as well after seeing such successful and well known people hash tagging #DeleteFacebook. I agree with Tim Cook that a regulation should be put into place after this situation has came to the surface because it is extremely unfair to all Facebook users who really trusted it with their information. I have many Apple products and from experience I agree with Tim Cook that apple does take privacy very seriously.

  5. Jessica Williams April 5, 2018 at 9:51 am #

    With the amount of data Facebook has on its users, it is incredibly frightening to see how poor their site’s security is. Apple has continually been a strong advocate for user privacy, and it’s refusal to share contact information with Facebook on its various devices is one of the many actions it took to protect the privacy of its users when so many other companies would be quick to exploit it. Based on how Apple has responded to issues with privacy, especially regarding the danger of Facebook and the amount of data it has on its users, the tech giant appears to not only be defending users from privacy infringement, but also imploring these other companies to cease their misuse of their users’ information.

    The main issue that arises from the abandoning of privacy infringement for companies such as Facebook would result in a serious loss of profit, as websites such as this would sell user information to advertisers, just so they could get their particular ad onto an individual’s page. This was also detailed in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s article, “Apple Does Right by Users and Advertisers are displeased,” as it details the specifics of internet cookies and how they operate to help advertising companies gain revenue through the use of privacy infringement (http://blog.shannonweb.net/2017/10/17/apple-does-right-by-users-and-advertisers-are-displeased/). Again, this recurring issue of privacy crosses a very serious ethical issue, as Apple themselves emphasize the importance of internet privacy and how privacy, in general, is a human right. Infringing on an individual’s privacy for revenue reduces him or her from being an individual to being a source of money, which is not only degrading, but also puts that user at risk, which was now seen through the situation regarding Cambridge Analytica.

    To counter this issue, instead of selling information to advertisers, companies such as Facebook and Google could invest in producing software designed to protect the user from privacy infringement, which is what Apple prides itself on. Not only would it replace the new “economic model of the internet,” but it would also create more jobs for software development and the manufacturing of “premium computer equipment,” as stated in the article. Focusing on consumer loyalty and the protection of their privacy would force advertisers to resort to a more innovative and moral method of advertising their products to internet users. And, more importantly, it would establish customer loyalty to the particular company, ensuring a stable source of revenue.

  6. John Martino April 5, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

    During the first two weeks of March, Facebook was grappling with a data scandal involving the British Company, Cambridge Analytica. The company was able to obtain Facebook user data for over 50 million people through the abuse of Facebook’s own tools. Rightfully so, this resulted in public uproar. Consumers were furious with feelings of deception after this scandal broke, resulting in billions lost through Facebook’s market value. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to publicly apologize in order to try to save face for the company, a tactic often used in times of chaos when your company is in bad ethical or legal standing in the public opinion. This is terrifying for any American citizen. We are in a constant battle for privacy and protection of our personal information. Identity theft in the United States is higher than any other countries in the world. The United States is responsible for more than 70% of identity theft cases in the world, well in front of the UK who ranks second at a mere eight percent. The sensitive information we need to put on the Internet and send through the mail everyday alone can be enough for individuals to steal an identity. Now, even social media entities like Facebook, could be stealing our most personal information to third parties to make a quick dollar.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the chaotic situation, claiming the situation was dire towards the implementation of some well-crafted, necessary regulation in terms of data that is not restricted in light of the Facebook incident. While Cook is claiming all of these regulations would be a benefit to the people, his company, Apple, would be the ones to also benefit for increased restrictions. Instead of Apple making its’ money through advertising (excluding the few search advertisements on the App store), they sell premium computer equipment that specifically is marketed to protect consumer privacy and security. Over the years, Apple has even modified their largest product, the iPhone, to support their firm stance on public privacy in comparison to their competitors at Android. The article cited that a report said Facebook saved user data from Android phones that included the time and recipient of text messages and calls. Oppositely, iPhones never gave the Facebook app the ability to store text or call data. Their approach to modify their products based on public opinion has been extremely successful in terms of their sales against their competitors as Apple is one of the largest entities in the world.

    Recently, Apple has been promoting that they believe privacy is basic human right. Privacy being a basic human right is a fundamental seen primarily in the European Union. Privacy is more protected in Europe than the United States because of American politics and the lobbying that occurs between corporations and government officials attempting to get into and/or retain their position in office. Tim Cook’s comments on Facebook were a direct way for Apple to spin the turmoil of Facebook’s data breach situation to improve their own reputation with potential and existing consumers. By having the CEO publicly recognize the societal backlash towards Facebook’s deception of personal data distribution and push for regulation of these situations, Apple is attempting to build new relationships with consumers as well as improve existing consumer relationships through continued production of privacy-protected equipment. I believe we do need regulations, possibly through an administrative agency, on privacy laws, specifically over the Internet. While I do not think Apple’s motives were purely based in the light of benefiting the public, but self gain, their opinion and stance on the hot-topic issue puts them in good standing with their target consumers without the need for advertising. Regulations will definitely benefit American citizens and get us closer to the identity theft percentage rates that are seen in European countries.

  7. Dean Spenzos April 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

    This kind of incident with Facebook is disgusting. It’s crazy that all of this information is coming out right as we’ve been talking about it in class. Before this semester, I never gave a lot of thought to how much personal information was being gathered. I knew there was information that I personally entered to create a profile but I never thought it would be sold to analytics companies. It seems like Mark Zuckerberg thinks he can do whatever he wants without getting in trouble because of how much money he has. I know he apologized but he probably just did it so more things wouldn’t get exposed.
    There must be way more things that Facebook is doing similar to this that no one knows about. It is like he’s apologizing to get this over with to prevent people from doing any more digging. A company that takes part in that kind of activity is not going to stop just because people know about it. They will most likely wait for the issue to blow over and everyone to forget about it and continue what they were doing. I agree with Tim Cook’s statement that there needs to be serious regulation. A few users getting angry will not cause a lot of change, it takes regulation and consequences. Until we start seeing punishments we will never be secure.
    It is a good thing that Apple tries to be secure with our information than Facebook. Tim Cook said they try to “maximize user privacy and security” and he’s doesn’t think anything like this should happen. But it is naive to believe 100% of what he says. There is no way a company with all that information is keeping it totally secure. It is very possible for a similar situation to happen to Apple in the future. I’m glad I don’t have an Android because I really don’t want all my text and call recipients to be sold to an analytics company. Anytime we use electronics we should be use caution with the amount we use it. We should be careful which pages we visit on Facebook and which groups we are a part of. If future employers start using the same information that Facebook sold then a lot of people could get into trouble. Before there is regulation we should all spend as little time as possible on Facebook and other sites that have the capability of tracking us.

  8. Luke Nadolny April 6, 2018 at 11:29 am #

    Facebook deserves the backlash that it is getting from consumers, this is crossing a line that they have no right to cross. The only people in the country that should have access to what goes on on your cellular device, should be any government agency who will use the information in a positive manner. One has to wonder though, if this is a political problem, given that Mark Zuckerberg has voiced his displeasure for President Trump and the Republican party. Some say that the reason that Facebook has been doing this is to get an idea of what political party one supports, which if this is the case, is a terrible reason to go about doing this. This violation of privacy may be in the terms of agreement shown when you first sign up for Facebook, but even then, a company should not have this much reach into ones life. Sure Amazon does this sort of tactic to determine what kind of marketing they need to put out to their consumers, but that is on the computer and that is done by monitoring search history and shopping tendencies, they do not cross any legal boundaries, what Facebook may benefit their marketing tactics, but they have multiple ways of getting your information, whether it be personal or shopping information, they now have almost everything about the consumers. What Tim Cook says in his response to the scandal says a lot about the methods used by Facebook, especially if there are other big companies in different markets that are criticizing Zuckerberg. It would be understandable if another social media competitor were to criticize him because that is how business works, you disagree with everything they do so more consumers will come to you, but seeing this as the CEO of a company that allows Facebook to be put on their devices, this has to send some sort of message to Zuckerberg, if there was none before. Americans already have to put up with the possibility of the government watching and tracking us, but now they have to deal with a company doing it. One has legal authority, the other does not, and it sickens me that the fact that these companies think they can enter our personal lives just because they are big enough and have a good enough reputation, well this is something that can permanently stain someones reputation, and that someone is Facebook, specifically Mark Zuckerberg.

  9. Shakur Mckinney April 6, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

    I thought this article was a great read. It’s good to hear a CEO of such a big company take a stance that is pro consumer privacy. From what I know about the Facebook scandal, basically what happened was that Facebook was selling users private information to other companies. In my personal opinion I dont think its that big of a deal, again I don’t know all the facts, so I may be ignorant in regards to how much facebook shared and what the consequences of that could mean for consumers. I can’t speak for everyone but for me atleast, I dont put anything worth value on social media. What I mean by that is I don’t put anything too personal on social sites. Whether it be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube. I never use my actual name I usually use a nickname or some different type of alias beside my real name. I think the most personal thing that I put on social media is maybe my birthday and that’s only for certain sites so I don’t see what exactly facebook was selling. But if it’s things like gathering what people like and the things people like to talk and watch while using Facebook and they then sold that to other companies so that maybe those companies could try to market specific products to those consumers, I actually don’t see a big problem with that. Although it is undoubtedly an invasion on privacy; it is wrong. But I just dont think it’s as big of a deal as people made it . In my eyes all this micro marketing and based off peoples likes, google searches, and cookies is not a bad thing. I also certainly don’t think it can be used to persuade someone into buying something for me it’s simple if I want a product and can afford it i’ll buy it, if I can’t then I can’t. If I don’t want a product there no amount of internet marketing that can sway my opinion. But then again maybe that’s just me and not the average consumer. But all in all it was good to hear Apple’s CEO Tim Cook speaks on where he stands on this ever growing issue of consumer privacy. Tim Cook stated “the ability of people to access personal data that shows what websites that people browse or shows who their contacts are should not exist.” He is completely right I agree with him 110 percent, I just dont think Facebook should be thrown under the bus for their actions, because they are not the only company that’s participating in such activities, and again I dont think its that big of a deal, but it is great to hear that one of my favorite companies will not be including themselves in this behaviour.

  10. Nicholas DiBari April 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

    While I fully agree with Tim Cook that Facebook should not have the massive amounts of data on as that it does, I question the feasibility of the statement. In a perfect world, more regulation and restrictions on the data would be ideal, however, I wonder whether or not Facebook could run as “effectively” as it does now. At the moment, it is important to bear in mind what it does that Facebook actually does to make money. The company itself does not actually produce any content, rather, it relies on its users to deliver content for other users to consume. What a user sees is determined by the preferences Facebook learns about the user through the data it collects. While it would be ideal for Facebook not to need to aggregate extreme amounts of big data on its users in order to continue to function as a social platform, the way I see it, Facebook would cease to exist without it. As mentioned earlier, Facebook makes its money off of advertising. If Facebook loses the capability to produce advertising revenue, then it does not have, at least as it stands, a solid means by which it can make the money it needs to sustain itself. Apple’s message that privacy should be a fundamental right certainly is not something that should be thought of as incorrect, I question its validity in this context. For lack of a better phrase, Apple cannot really talk as their primary income is certainly not advertising revenue. They have a plethora of well loved products to earn them their money whereas Facebook is totally dependent on using the data they glean to tailor advertisements to their users. I think that it would be unfair to tell Facebook they cannot aggregate data on consumers given their business model. I do think, however, there are obviously far more ethically sound ways in which they could have carried out their aggregation and the way with which they handled their data. One point I do agree with Cook and Apple strongly on is the implementation of more transparent and general language when it comes to informing users of privacy policy. If nothing else, users should not need to have to look with a fine-toothed comb through privacy agreements to see what is really happening to their information.

  11. Ryan Mack April 6, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

    Data mining, data collection, target ad-ing, are all controversial things that have grown with the age of internet technology. The government and corporate America have been collecting massive amounts of data from its users for almost as long as the technology capable has been out. Many feel it’s an invasion of privacy, others feel they have nothing to hide, and there are some that stopped caring at all since nothing you do is private anyway. The U.S. government, mostly the National Security Agency, has been collecting mass amounts of data on U.S. citizens and countries abroad going generally unchecked since the Bush administration started a domestic spying program in 2001. Corporations as well, especially Google and Facebook, have been collecting mass data on its users including location data, text messages, phone calls, video calls, web searches, picture and video views, among many other bits of data including those about the devices being used. This information is used by companies primarily to target-ad us and make money from it. This is their business model. Facebook and Google cost nothing to use and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook’s product is their users. Facebook was recently caught misusing about 50 million user information with British data mining and analytics firm Cambridge Analytica and its involvement and influence on the U.S. 2016 presidential election. Because the company was able to get access to the friends of an affected user, those friends didn’t even have to do anything to be data mined without knowledge or consent. Cook and Apple itself have taken a clear stance on user privacy, as evident when the company refused to allow the government to access the data on the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter and vowed to resist government pressure for backdoors. Apple also does not allow as much data to be collected by a user as Google does on its android OS. If Facebook can’t sell customers for target advertising, how would they make money? Maybe they could change their business model to only sell ad space without collecting or allowing access to so much user data in order to target ad a user; or maybe they could start charging a monthly fee for use. I feel that the mass collection of user data, especially when it’s without the knowledge or consent of the user, is wrong, invasive and as for some federal government cases, a violation of the Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The government says it collects every digital trail people leave for security, but does it actually work as much as it’s said to? And Facebook sharing that much data about me, even if I have my account locked down as much as possible, is wrong. I agree with Tim Cook when he said Facebook should’ve self-regulated. I have nothing to hide, but companies and even the government collecting so much data on us without us being able to do much about it is a serious issue.

  12. John Mundia April 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    The response of the Apple CEO seems to be almost pretentious. Tim Cook in the way that it is presented seems to be looking down at the actions of Facebook as if they did anything wrong. Now it is an unpopular opinion but in my judgment, I think Facebook’s actions are logical and efficient for Facebook. The issue with Facebook is that they have been scraping data from millions and millions of people. However, it does seem to be a logical pattern that they used. Facebook as a platform gets paid by selling data to other companies and they get paid by advertisements. It is unrealistic to think that the Facebook founder and board would do this and have an ethical dilemma with it. The scraping of data was within the terms and agreements, granted relatively no one reads those when signing up for social media. Therefore, for Facebook, the revenue stream was too good to pass up because it helped the bottom line. The reason I seem suspicious of Tim Cook’s statements is that had Tim Cook been the CEO of Facebook, he would have done the same thing. Also, it’s not like Apple is free from ethical scandals. I also feel that this outrage also somewhat political, with the scandal and the ongoing investigation. It seems that had this never come up because of the politics, people would have never cared and Facebook could have gotten away with it.

  13. Matt Henry April 6, 2018 at 5:55 pm #

    Of course Apple CEO Tim Cook has the opinion he does about the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. I agree with his analysis that, “The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life – from my own point of view it shouldn’t exist” (Cook). But Apple is a completely different entity than Facebook or Google. Apple is a tech giant that makes most of its profit off of the computer equipment it sells. There is no reason for Apple to be collecting data to target ads like Facebook and Google do because that is not beneficial to them. Facebook and Google, however, make almost all of their profit off of advertising. Without advertising, these companies might not exist in the state they do today or people would have to pay for their services. However, the data these entities collect should be limited.
    Privacy is a major concern of consumers in the US and all over the world. Facebook and Google need to collect data in order to advertise, but there should be restrictions on the amounts of data they can collect on a single person. A report on Saturday said, “Facebook saved user data from Android phones that included the time and recipient of text messages and calls” (Leswing). This is just one of many actions by Facebook that should be considered going too far. Facebook should be restricted to the information plugged into Facebook and nothing more. Scanning personal messages, phones, and contacts is a complete invasion of privacy. Companies that collect data on individuals should not be able to share it also because once they leak that information it can end up in the hands of anyone. This was one of Facebook’s biggest flaws. Security must be increased to block outside parties from accessing information.

  14. Antonia James April 8, 2018 at 3:14 pm #

    According to IFLscience.com, Ninety percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. Our current output of data is roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes a day. As the world steadily becomes more connected with an ever-increasing number of electronic devices, that’s only set to grow over the coming years. As a whole, the Internet population has grown by 7.5 percent since 2016 and now includes over 3.7 billion humans. On average, the US alone spits out 2,657,700 gigabytes of Internet data every minute. These data can be the internet of things (lot) data our user-generated data. It can be used to capture, reason and acted upon to change the course. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. But, it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It is what organizations do with the data that matters. The question is what happens when big data infringes on our privacy as ordinary citizens?

    One important and critical debate is how social media has played a part is destroying our privacy. It brings into Focus range of issues from fake news and privacy on social media. At the core of Facebook’s business model is the notion that our personal information is not, well, ours. I believe that our worst fears has become reality. According to foxnews.com, The personal information of up to 87 million users may have been “improperly shared” with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, Facebook said on Wednesday. The social media giant’s Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer, revealed the number in a blog post, and said the tens of millions affected were “mostly in the US.”

    It would be difficult to disagree with Tim Cooks after this stunning revelation. As he started in his interview, the situation is “dire” and regulation is necessary. His argument that the ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life shouldn’t exist. The idea of Facebook was for us to stay in touch with friends and family. A way to connect and share our lives with friends. But beyond all the Friends and Hangouts and Favorites, there’s cold, hard cash, to be profited from using our data. When the product is free, you are the product. It’s your data that makes Facebook worth $100 billion and Google $300 billion. It is time that the government takes a more proactive role in protecting us. Holding these companies accountable for their actions. In his full-page ads in several British and American newspapers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has roiled the company over the past two weeks. As he stated, “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it,”. A mere apology to users isn’t enough. Facebook, rights to hold on to our data to manipulate our decisions and to sell our data to big corporations should be stopped. We all deserve our human rights to privacy.

  15. Daniel Schreier April 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

    For the Apple CEO to be saying “we need more regulation”, is literally a joke in my view, as all of us, especially the one who own and Apple device, which are a lot of people, know the amount of information the Apple collects on us. If people read their terms and conditions for using an Apple Device, we probably would know that Apple can sell our information to the highest bidder the same way Facebook does. Still, the reason they can do that is because like always, the law is slower than the innovations in society. Since those companies operate in many different places, and in many different areas, is tough to regulate them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific law to protect our digital information, as it exist to protect our banking and fiscal records. So, pretty much, by us agreeing with the terms and conditions established for using such products and services, we are also giving permission for them to gather our information and use it the way they believe is better to do so. As such, this companies are now much more surveillance companies than social networks or fine tech business. The main reason we need more regulation is because at least in the United States the constitution and the laws protect each individuals freedom, liberty and independence. Now, almost 250 years after the constitution was promulgated, there is a need to innovate the law system, so we can protect those values in the 21st century. Is very nice to hear that Tim Cook wants more regulation is these issues, but we should wait until this really gets into debate and discussion, and when these starts to harm their businesses, we should see if the still maintains his position or if he would lobby against it. My guess is the second option.

  16. Nathaniel Valyo April 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

    Tim Cook is absolutely right when he stated that privacy is a “fundamental human right.” We live in an age where our privacy is being treated as an afterthought; as a thing that just gets in the way of a company’s ability to make a profit. After all, what better way to target consumers than to gather exactly what they do and do not like? With this in mind, we, the consumers, are being deprived of a sense of dignity and instead, we become only what we are worth economically.

    During the San Bernardino shooting when the FBI wanted access to the shooter’s iPhone, I came under the impression that Apple was just taking a “holier-than-thou” approach when they refused to give up the shooter’s passcode. In my mind, Apple was not necessarily concerned with protecting the shooter’s privacy, but instead with making themselves look like moral superiors for refusing to allow access to the shooter’s phone. In light of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, Apple is sticking with their guns by scolding Facebook for not being stricter on privacy. I don’t know whether Apple is simply attempting to make themselves look better by intervening in this situation, or if they are genuinely upset with Facebook’s privacy policies, or lack thereof. Regardless, Tim Cook is correct. It is our fundamental right as humans to have our information safe and secure, and it is encouraging that such a powerful executive recognizes this.

    I am not sure how long it will take for legislation which truly protects our personal data to be passed, but I am optimistic that it will, in fact, be passed. It took years for legislation to be passed on how much privacy a landlord had to give their tenants, and also for how much privacy a telephone carrier company had to give its customers. Facebook committed disgusting, selfish, unsettling acts against us, without a doubt. But, in a sense, this outrage seems long overdue. The issue of how much privacy we have on the internet has been swept under the rug for far too long, and now it is time for action. Our anger toward Facebook is completely justified, but we must be careful to not let it sit solely as anger; we must use this scandal as a call for stricter legislation which protects our human rights. It is a positive sign that Zuckerberg was willing to meet with Congress to discuss how his company handles their data. It is a positive sign that the executives of a major corporation like Apple are intelligent enough to recognize that our privacy is a fundamental human right. But if we are only angry with Facebook, and we do not use it as a means of moving forward legally, then companies like Facebook will continue their ways.

  17. Lucas Rodriguez April 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

    With the rise in social media and online platform, Facebook has sustained its position as one of the most influential and omnipotent applications on our online cyber web; with almost a third of the population on the site, it has become a corporative powerhouse that has seemingly unleashed an illuminative essence on our current occupied internet with its populous database. As apple represents one of the most influential companies in terms of its cellular production and eminent position, it was a smart marketing move for them to speak out on such egregious conditions that had been undertaking in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. With 588 million users that own Apple products, ensuring the safety of such online and personal information is crucial to the company’s success especially after the data leak. The leak itself had involved Cambridge Analytica- a data mining firm, and Facebook, the world’s leading social media app. From the leak itself, millions of users had been exploited from the breach and their personal privacies, online information, and general securities had been manipulated. This included an advertisement based approach, which targeted users using a method labeled psychographics. Although this had been a major aspect in increasing potential popularity in terms of the past election and potential revenue, this had caused Facebook’s stock to drop significantly and ultimately had lowered the demand of the platform. In contrast to Facebook’s revenue maximizing strategies, as advertisement represents over 80 percent of their total income, Apple instead utilizes very little advertising but relies on their sales of specialized computer equipment and other services. With this, apple ensures a more secure and optimized security. As it has stated in its statement explaining that privacy is a “fundamental human right”, this potentially raises the demand for such apple products in a sense of its ant-data leak promotion and awareness. As apple continues to become massive powerhouses in things such as music platforms, applications, and general phone services this interest that Tim Cook proffers allows his consumers of the apple products to feel protected by such services. Especially as icloud being one of the fundamental means for storage and data, it has several policies that ensure the maximized privacy security and personal information regulations to allow consumers to feel safe in terms of their information. In terms o personal security, Apple has been pushing for such regulations for years; with the up rise in such technological innovation the company undoubtedly seeks to protect consumers at any cost, as a company that lacks such privacy- one of the most important rights of an individual- cannot compete in a market and would not be in such high demand. To exemplify this for example, in 2015 amid the South Bernardino mass shooting Apple had refused to open the IPhones of the terrorists involved in the shooting. Within such controversy Apple responded claiming that the government cannot act as an oppressive force in such regards; allowing them to look through the phones would be a direct violation in such rights of security individuals are promised, no matter the circumstance. Just like in Facebook’s case, if Apple had choose to leak such user data there would be an immense revenue increase for their company, but in the long run, personal privacy is an element almost all individuals crave; it is the reason we invest in such products, and why we are not constantly wondering if “Big Brother” is watching. We feel safe and comfortable in such manners of security, and if Apple had allowed the breach to occur this would cause a loss in Apple’s popularity significantly.

  18. Timothy Guerrero April 19, 2018 at 8:35 am #

    Apple has always had an altering perception of user data and privacy dating back to a conference years ago in which the iconic Steve Jobs stressed the importance of such, a conference in which ironically, Mark Zuckerberg was in the audience. To better understand why Facebook is so keen on collecting data, we have to take a look at the two companies business models and how revenues are generated. As the article’s third main bullet point states – “Apple’s business model is unlike Facebook’s in that it does not make money from ad targeting.” Apple doesn’t need to expose users data thanks to the massive luxurious brand millennials have nearly adopted for all means of technology. The “Apple Ecosystem,” if you will, as we tend to consume Apple’s hardware and software in various means to extraordinary means, which results in the wealth Apple has been able to generate. Consider this, do the new AirPods have to be $170, when they’re the mere $35 headphones that come with phones, but with no wire? Not nearly, yet I still love my AirPods just as millions around the world. Facebook, on the other hand, is a free platform that is extremely limited in means of generating wealth. So to make money, it makes a deified sense why they collect data to its extend to sell to advertisers, as this is golden for advertisers who have the money to support a platform like Facebook. Apple CEO Tim Cook is right when he says Facebook shouldn’t have this power and system, however they almost have to, and this is where our problem arises. And simply charging a fee for Facebook won’t solve anything either, as the 2 billion people who utilize this platform in one way shape or form will be reduced to pebbles, something in which Facebook can’t afford. We need a craftful method of solving this issue, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like help from Congress is on the way.

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