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Facebook Is the Issue, Not Cambridge Analytica

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After being in the media with their latest privacy breach scandal, Facebook is re-doing their privacy settings once more. Of course, this has been in the development pipe-line for some time and is not related to the scandal.

I do feel the urge to explan a few things here.

First of all: Cambridge Analytica is not the scandal here. It is Facebook. Selling the users' data is their ultimate business model. There is no big secret about it. Everything you submit to Facebook is owned by Facebook. You do not have any rights any more. Even worse: they own your complete browsing behavior by logging all pages you visit from all the like-buttons and from all data they can steal from your browser history. They download all of your contacts, get phone call logs, keep submitted files, deleted files, deleted messages, everything.

If you do delete anything, they still keep the data and mark it as "deleted by the user". They use this data but do not show them to you. There is nothing which gets deleted by Facebook. Never ever. They are not even in the position to delete something for technical reasons. The only thing they do is move the data to archive databases for performance optimization.

Many times, when Facebook changed the privacy settings "for your optimized privacy experience", they re-activated settings users have disabled before. They re-arrange the settings so that you can't know what previous settings corresponds to the new ones.

Further more: when they offer any privacy feature to hide some content from any party, this does not prevent Facebook from selling this data to anybody who is willing to spend some money.

Anybody who develops Facebook apps was able to gather the very same data Cambridge Analytica was able to accumulate and download. This was perfectly in-line with Facebook for many, many years. They did not break any law or contract.

Privacy settings on Facebook is only a thing which prevents you from seeing your own data or preventing your friends from seeing some data. Paying parties always get what they want.

Once again: selling data is the main business of Facebook.

You should not be worried of Cambridge Analytica. You should be horrified of Facebook itself. (And others as well.)

The only thing you can do to prevent or minimize the amount of your data being collected and sold is: avoiding Facebook, Google and other cloud-based, commercial social networks at all costs, install adblockers, deactivating active content (JavaScript), prevent some tracking technologies, block Facebook like-buttons, and hope for the best that no-one who has your contact information in their contact data is using Facebook.

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