Vince Rants

What Are Your Most Used Words on Facebook

Just a little thought experiment.

Edward Snowden showed a great deal of evidence of government mass surveillance by the NSA, GCHQ and other government organizations around the world. These organizations are tracking your browsing history, emails, cell phone texts, calls, communications, and more. Do you think this is wrong?

Companies all over the world use various tracking technologies like the Evercookie to track your browsing and purchasing habits online. They build these massive databases so they can sell you products via highly targeted advertising. Do you think this is wrong?

Some little company builds a small web app that shows you your most used words on Facebook. They do this by literally downloading your entire posting/conversation histories to their servers in order to process the contents of this downloaded information. Do you honestly think they just delete this information after showing you the results, and then having you post said results to encourage the next person to do the same? Are they really doing this out the kindness of their hearts just to show you something a little cool? Who's paying for it?

The answer is: the same as the first two. By submitting to these silly little quizzes, you're consenting to allow the company who made those quizzes to access, store, redistribute, and sell your information. You are their product. Even more so, you are their advertising department too. They sit back and collect your information, then sell it to the highest bidder, all while you're advertising for them to get the next person to submit their information for this cycle to continue.

Now, the big question: Do you think this is wrong!?