Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: The Betrayal most foul

“What the CIA failed to do in 60 years, Zuck (Mark Zuckerberg) has done in seven: knowing what 800 million people — more than 10 percent of the world’s population — think, read and listen to, plus who they know, what they like and where they live, travel, vote, shop and worship.” (Forbes, November 2011).

In June 2017, Facebook achieved a “milestone” as it got 2 billion monthly users. While the number of the Facebook users has grown over the years, the security and privacy issues have also increased alongside. Facebook has remained a favorite place for hackers and even the founder of “world’s largest social network” wasn’t spared by hackers. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook account has been hacked twice; first in December 2011 when the hackers posted his private photos online and second in 2013 by a Palestinian developer. Ironic it may be but when facebook’s C.E.O is not immune to hackers than who else is safe?

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has led companies like Tesla, SpaceX, Sonos and Mozzila to part ways with the world’s largest social network. The “Delete Facebook” movement has been joined by celebrities like Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Singer and actress Cher and Bollywood actor and director Farhan Akhtar. According to The New York Times, the recent scandal has proved to be a “last straw” to quit Facebook.

Violation of Privacy is Crime, not ‘mistake’.

In recent episode of betrayal, the data of more than 87 million users has been compromised. Mr, Mark Zuckerberg said in a written statement: “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. Perhaps ‘mistake’ is too small word to cover up such a cruel betrayal by the world’s largest social network. Facebook has ruthlessly betrayed millions of its user trusted it with their data. Digital privacy is basic human right which has been violated by facebook and it is a crime not a ‘mistake’.

Digital Privacy is a basic human right

The resolution 68/167 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2013 called on all states to ensure the protection of online privacy. In April 2015, resolution 28/16 adopted by Human Rights Council decided to appoint Special Rapporteur on the Right to privacy for a period of three years. The resolution directed the Special Rapporteur to report on alleged violations of the right to privacy including in connection with the challenges arising from new technologies. Amnesty International regards digital privacy as a basic human right.

Amnesty International U.S.A ‘s report published on 31st March 2016 also underlined the importance of privacy in digital age and called upon the governments to protect online communication by promoting the use of encryption tools.

My data is not for sale

It is high time that facebook users realize that their personal information is not for sale and facebook reserves no right to provide this information to third parties without the consent of its users. While living in a digital space privacy must be regarded as a basic human right and not a luxury as Al Gore has said “In the digital era, privacy must be a priority”

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