Facebook and Cambridge Analytica - legal responsibilities, common sense and education

I read the very interesting article of @Marion, who focuses on the legal responsibilities of both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in the big data breach, harvesting and A.I. computing process that led to the profiling of millions of Facebook users and US voters, targeted with ad-hoc ads and fake news on their social feeds, tailored on their personal fears and biases in order to make them react and vote accordingly.

Apart the discussion about which side the responsibility goes (on both actually…) and in which percentage, what strikes me the most is the huge distance between some very smart and up-to-date single individuals and projects - in any field, from politics and law to media and technology - and the big mass of all other individuals, that makes the ‘common sense’ or ‘public opinion’. This makes me even more convinced about my long-lasting impression that the main role and added value in the particular historical moment we are living in is to educate, teach and spread more than create, innovate and disrupt. Humanity with digital connected technologies took a giant leap in last decades, but only a few of us are fully exploiting it, benefiting from it or even understanding it. The more of us is mainly suffering from its consequences.


The problem with tech companies like facebook is the prioritization of growth above all else at the expense of the users. For example on facebook they prioritized data collection over protecting them from abuse.The more data it offers the more value it creates for the company. It means it has no incentive to truly protect the collection and use of that data except if negative press or regulators come calling. The cambridge analytica scandal comes to my mind as eventual consequence. Accountabilty and transparency are non existent. No wonder aside from privacy issue among others harms caused by big tech the public and the regulators are calling for tighter control and regulations and even the break up of tech monopoly.


Thanks for the comment Michele, I am glad you saw the intent behind the post. In the work that I’ve been doing and particularly at Snips today, I feel that awareness/education is the main barrier to making significant progress - because once education is unlocked, demand for more ethical, human-centered products will rise, and alternatives will become viable.