Facebook’s Real Issue: Treating Its Users Like Products
As controversy swirls over social media companies removing politicians, including President Donald Trump, from their platforms, a more long-standing issue with how these companies treat their users – and their privacy – is getting a new twist,
Facebook has issued an ultimatum to the hundreds of millions of users of WhatsApp, a company Facebook bought in 2014, that they must share their data with Facebook, or delete the app from their devices:
Come next month, users will no longer have [the ability to opt out of data sharing with Facebook]. Some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes:
User phone numbers
Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books
Profile pictures and
Status message including when a user was last online
Diagnostic data collected from app logs
Under the new terms, Facebook reserves the right to share collected data with its family of companies.
In some cases, such as when someone uses WhatsApp to interact with third-party businesses, Facebook may also share information with those outside entities.
Facebook is free to make such demands as it is a private company. But users are not obligated to stick with the service….and become just a product Facebook sells on the open market.
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