I also don’t understand the focus on facebook all that much as them being the major bad guy. Yes, they’re a big part of the problem where they act like they can do whatever they want with your private data and not give you any kind of real control over what you want them to know or to guess of you with the right methods (one big one being that they never delete data that you actually have already deleted). And I have also never liked Zuckerberg. To me he seems to be a very incompetent person, except for that he can still a multi billion dollar company with the right people by his side. But he’s not competent to have control over our private data and how to act responsibly with it. He’s also not competent about AI, where can’t even calculate the risks about what big issues it can bring if not handled properly. He doesn’t seem a person that can calculate the risks over certain actions on the longer term, especially about fields he’s not specialized in, and those are a lot I think. After all, he only made a website.
But the thing is that you can still choose not to have a Facebook account and limit what they know about you. The only data Facebook gets is data that you give them by using other applications of them, like Whatsapp (your family and friends and your communication activity in relation to them), instagram (locations, persons, hobbies and much more with image recognition) etc. And also the data that other people give to them. Your friends, employers uploading pictures and tag you or not,… You can also easily block their trackers on websites.
But the bigger problem is Google, and similar companies. They are so present on the internet and even outside it that it’s certainly guaranteed that they know a lot about you, whether you use their services or not. There’s the saying Google knows everything and I can think you can take that literally. And compared to an incompetent person like Zuckerberg, Google is full of very competent leaders, but unfortunately ones that act in the same irrisponsible way with our personal data. Eric Schmidt’s stance on privacy is as simple as you should not care about it so much if you have nothing to hide, very much sounding like if you’re not a criminal, you don’t need privacy. This is the guy that is now helping the US army (and Korean) to build AI technology for killer robots with all the algorithms and predictions Google was able to build with our personal data. That’s where in my eyes things goes really wrong. Our data is not just used anymore for profiling for better ads and improving their services, but also for war technology.
Google is everywhere, like I said, so it’s very hard to avoid them in our daily acting. They link one account to all the services they provide. They host a lot of things for websites: fonts, libraries, etc. so they can track your website visits. They have DNS servers that companies even activate by default in their products, so again the same issue. Major browsers like Chrome and Firefox uses it’s safebrowsing feature to protect you from phishing etc., but that also means again they know every website that you are visiting. Their Analytics are everywhere, their ads. Every Android smartphone has google (location, personal data, relationships etc.) tracking. I can keep listing them up…
So I don’t think Facebook deserves all that thrashtalk and focus when Google still has all the freedom to do what they want with our data. It’s also been known that they facilitated (and probably still do) the US government to get access to all their data, but so did companies like Facebook and Microsoft.