“Data is beautiful. Information is Power.”
Information plays a huge role in how we handle matters in day to day life. Our life moves on finding information and taking action in whatever we indulge ourselves into. A small bit of information lands a big deal or even start a war. There is no doubt that our world has advanced so much to gather information in fast and efficient way. From letters to emails, we have advanced so much to exchange information from one person to another person that one cannot deny the importance of it. Hence, something so valuable must be protected but first people need to know why their data matters.
When Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook, was testifying with Congress, I had an opportunity to discuss about our “Information on Facebook” with my friends. While me along with some of my friends agreed that Facebook needs to handle our data properly, some were not totally inclined to this thought and did not care about what happens with their data as they believe they are only one person and their lives won’t be affected by it. WRONG!
Here’s why I think they are wrong with that statement. Facebook does not have data of only one person but data of millions of its users around the world. If they can have algorithms to go through what we shop on Amazon and show relevant ads on Facebook, they could utilize bunch of other activities we do on internet and use algorithms to give us any information on our News Feed which we would read and believe that it is true. When this happens with a large number of Facebook users at the same time, it is easier to psychologically believe in what we read on our News Feed and this could be used to change our thinking and mentality on many different things and we would never know about it when it happens. Facebook certainly has power to do so and that is not good for society when one giant company has power to influence a society.
I hope as we move forward, we have more control and power to know how our data is being used. I don’t mind getting relevant ads on Facebook and I personally praise Facebook on how they run ads. This certainly helps Small Business and Companies to reach more people with less expense. But it’s not just about ads. It’s about how our information is being used or how we are being used. It’s not about you or me, it’s about society as a whole.