While watching Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress, I vacillated between rooting for him to do well and fuming at the excesses and lack of transparency displayed by Facebook and other tech companies.
I genuinely felt a rock land in the pit of my stomach when I first heard that he’d agreed to testify. I felt for the guy because he’s never looked to me like the tough, bring-it-on kind of guy who could win in a war of words. (And I can so relate to that!)
It’s easy to make anyone look bad or guilty by putting them on a hot seat and asking a bunch of rapid-fire questions. And I wasn’t sure how he would survive that.
On the other hand, I know how capitalism works, and I know how far it has gone in making the business environment less sensitive to ethical standards. It’s all about the Benjamins, and that makes me mad. Looks like it always takes an inevitable scandal for many corporations to take the needed steps to ensure due diligence. After all, Facebook has known about the Cambridge Analytica thing since 2015. It’s like they’ll push it as far as possible until they can no longer ignore that fact that they are responsible for what happens on their platforms or in their business practices. But of course, and most importantly, they’ll make truckloads of money in the process. I know it’s difficult to be upfront about such issues. It’s kinda like a security breach; it ends up being a lose-lose situation except, again, for the money.
It’s obvious that the security vs. privacy argument is a difficult one but mostly because money and politics are involved. I did cringe at certain times during Zuckerberg’s testimony, but this particular question, asked by Congresswoman Eshoo was the kind that made me concerned in the first place.
“Are you willing to change your business model in the interest of protecting individual privacy?”
I laugh in my mother tongue! No CEO in their right mind would answer yes to that question on a whim unless they’re willing to file bankruptcy in the nearest future.
It’s essentially asking Facebook if they’ll stop taking ads, stop sharing our data with third parties just to make us happy. Uh… no, ma’am. Not happening. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I wouldn’t like that. I’d love to simply use Facebook the way it was originally intended. To connect with family, friends and the occasional stranger without being worried that my info is sitting on several servers all around the world.
But is that going to happen anytime soon? No. Unless we’re willing to pay for Facebook access. And your guess is as good as mine on that one.
So I guess I have to either get used to my love-hate relationship with Mark Zuckerberg and his virtual universe or simply log off.
I’ll let you know what I decide. Lol.
So I’m wondering; have you ever been worried about privacy issues when using social media? Let me know in the comments.