Lack of legal precedence is making the adjudication of Facebook’s gross violation of its users right of privacy may generate some political chains of reactions. Even though several Facebook users have filed a lawsuits against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica but none of the cases have really made any headway yet.
A notable provider of tech support in West Palm Beach and several others believe that Facebook should be made to cough out all the billions of dollars it has made selling advertisements to its users over the years. The fact that Facebook would have made even more money selling advertisements to political campaigns makes this very violation unpardonable.
What every provider of tech support in West Palm Beach feels is that Cambridge Analytica had unrestrained access to user’s data over the years because of Facebook’s “open door” policy of granting easy access to apps to harvest as much users information as they want. Apps like Tinder, Instagram, and Pinterest are major beneficiaries of this policy.
While the focus is currently on Cambridge Analytica, nobody knows how many other firms have been extracting data from Facebook. While adjudication continues, investigation should be launched to find out how many other companies have harvested Facebook users data. Although it is believed that Cambridge Analytica harvested data of up to 70 million Facebook users, some people believe that the figure is much higher than that as Facebook is the most popular social media platform worldwide.
While some users gave their consent for their data to be used, Cambridge Analytica went beyond its bounds by harvesting the data of all the friends and followers of the users who gave their consent. Initially, those that were tricked into giving their consent regretted ever doing so, but they now know that it makes no difference as with or without their consent, Cambridge Analytica has been scraping the needed data. The only consent that really matters is that of Facebook and they had it permanently until the lid was blown open by the company’s disgruntled employee. What made this violation one too many was its use to promote Trump’s presidential campaign and to also persuade Britons to support UK’s exit from European Union.
It is still quite worrisome that up till now, Cambridge Analytica still believes it has not engaged in any wrongdoing and that its actions were legal. However, the massive loss of its clients up to the point of liquidation is punitive enough. This should serve as deterrent to others who may be planning to take the “data stealing” cue from the company (Cambridge Analytica). They should know that even though the massive data is entrusted with Facebook, the consent of the owners of the data is much more important than Facebook’s.
What both parties to the crime are enjoying is the lack of legal precedence to their offense. It would have been easy to nail them with the new EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation, but the rule took effect just last month –months after the crime was committed. Now that government has an idea of the kind of amount that can be generated from the monetization of personal data coupled with lack of regulation on it, chances are good that government will soon take the first step towards regulating the niche.