Case 3- Facebook Privacy: What Privacy?
Facebook is a recognized social media platform that allows people to engage in social activities with their loved ones despite physical barriers. However, in light of the recent scandals Facebook has had in recent years, the question that comes to mind is whether or not privacy truly exists on Facebook. The company has faced serious privacy violations, leaking private information to external third parties. Millions of users have their private information at stake, some of which can be potentially threatening or sensitive if it were leaked to the public. For years, Facebook users have been left out of the loop when it comes to understanding Facebook privacy policies and how their data is being used by Facebook. Facebook has shared people’s private information with third parties for a profit, an example of such behaviour is the Cambridge Analytica scandal where ads were targeted towards certain people to promote Trump’s campaign based on user data. Oftentimes, Facebook will tap into your search history even when you are not using the platform and inform companies so that they can target ads towards you while you are on Facebook, all while making a profit. Facebook is displaying extremely unethical behaviour towards users due to their lack of transparency on how their data is used and who has access to the data, and what Facebook gains from collecting user data (profits).
Facebook’s business model and user privacy are direct correlated due to the revenue generating capacity of sharing Facebook users’ data. Facebook’s profit-maximizing strategy depends on the selling of private user information to third parties for advertising purposes. While users may be inclined to believe that they are using Facebook for free, they are actually selling their private information to the company without being completely aware. In reality, users are giving up their right to privacy in exchange for access to the social media platform.
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2018). Management information systems: Managing the digital
firm (pp. 158-160). New York, NY: Pearson.