Facebooks shares lost $37 billion as the market responds to the scandal the firm is involved in. The social network giant has ignited a political backlash and seemingly an economic backlash as well in US and UK following reports that it provided access of data on 50 million Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting company that focuses on data mining and analysis.
Facebook had initially given Cambridge Analytica access to user’s data but with the understanding that Cambridge Analytica would delete the data after it used it.
The real story is Politics Not Business
Since Cambridge Analytica is a data analysis firm, it is alleged to have tried to influence how Americans voted using information collected from millions of Facebook profiles. To make matters worse, Cambridge Analytica was involved in the 2016 presidential campaign on Donald Trump’s side who is also alleged to have appealed for Russian help in his bid for the presidency.
So, the political arena could be summing up these links by saying that Cambridge Analytica handed Facebook data to Russia and Russia used the data to influence voters by engaging in propaganda campaigns in favour of Donald Trump.
What is Facebook accused of?
The firm is accused of failing to inform users that their profile information may have been obtained and kept by Cambridge Analytica. It is also said that Facebook should have exercised due diligence by ensuring that the data collected by Cambridge Analytica was deleted, so for failing to do that Facebook is being accused of negligence.
The Future of data
Facebook’s mess could be a taste of the oncoming conflicts between governments and consumers or vice versa as the world moves into an era where data would be as valuable as gold and consumers would be sensitive to their personal information being shared without their approval. We are most likely to see a world where data will be treated like a commodity that can be paid for.