Facebook: You are not the customer. You are the product being sold.

Some Austrian dude decided he wanted Facebook to send him all the data they had on him in order to raise a ruckus about
whether or not Facebook is adhering to European data privacy laws. So they sent him all his personal information from 2008 to the present, totaling 1222 pages after he printed it out. (I’m pretty sure he printed it out just to be dramatic.)

He, along with some German privacy-rights folks, claim Facebook uses “invasive internet marketing practices that allow consumers to be observed, analysed and harvested for profit, with no regard for their right to privacy.”

Yeah, well, guess what? As a Facebook user, you are voluntarily posting information about yourself on a site that you use for free that you are in no way obligated to use. You know all that storage space you take up with your photos and status updates and witty comments? Well, that’s on Facebook’s servers, which you are not paying to use either. The entire concept of Facebook is that the user is not the customer. You are the product being sold. The product being sold for a pretty penny to advertisers. Why do you think they don’t ask you before they make changes to functionality or how your profile looks? Because they don’t care what you think.

If you don’t like being said product, then don’t be on Facebook. If you still want to be on there (since doing so is almost essential to anyone with a social life), then log out every time you leave the page and reset your browser (deleting all cookies and your browsing history).

Now if we were talking about someone reading my private emails in order to market to me, I’d be pissed about…oh, wait. I’m on Gmail, and Google reads my emails to know what to advertise to me. But again, guess what? That’s free too.

So I guess if you’re paranoid about your privacy on the internet, you can either get your own private server and host your own email. Or, you can be ok with being advertised to and be smart enough not to put sensitive private information on your Facebook page in the first place.

2 thoughts on “Facebook: You are not the customer. You are the product being sold.

  1. That is a scary amount of information. I suppose it should bother me that google reads my emails, but it doesn’t. I believe they are secretly ruling the world, so why fight it?

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