Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Keep your eyes on the ball, Cambridge Analytica is not it.

The whole Cambridge Analytica affair, which came about when some limited Facebook data on 87 million people was presumably misappropriated, seems now used a lot to hide the fact that the existence at Facebook of much more detailed data on 2.2 billion people poses, almost by definition, a bigger problem.

Since regulations might come, whether we like it or not, like many I have been giving some thoughts on how to regulate Facebook. This is what I have come up with. First of all, let us avoid many complicated hard to understand rules and go for some very simple few ones. Among these I would suggest: 

Have Facebook respect our very scarce attention span by limiting the ads it generates to a maximum of 3 per person on a per hour on line basis.

Prohibit all data collection on truly private matters such as political, religious or sexual preferences.

And foremost a total prohibition on handing over any data to government agencies. The last thing we need is for Facebook and similar to enter into profitable "Big Brother is Watching You” joint ventures with governments. I am from Venezuela, and I have seen enough damage having been caused by governments taking over traditional media, to want to think about these being able to exploit social media. Can you imagine Maduro using our Facebook data to decide with much more precision, who to give his food-boxes to?

We "The Resistance", might urgently need to create alternative underground social media.

PS. Of course I would love to see some of the advertising revenues we allowed Facebook to earn, return to us via helping to fund a Universal Basic Income