April 28, 2022 · less than 3 min read
Not sure where your data goes? Don’t worry – nobody else knows either.
A stab in the dark
A leaked internal document given to Vice has shown that in the face of rising data protections, Facebook has little idea where any of its data is going. Moreover, Facebook might be giving regulators an unlikely vision of what data protection can look like.
“We do not have an adequate level of control and explainability over how our systems use data”, the document reads. “We can’t confidently make controlled policy changes or external commitments such as ‘we will not use X data for Y purpose’”.
Unfortunately for Facebook, that’s exactly what regulators expect it to do.
How culpable we believe social media firms to be in all this will ultimately depend on how much we like them, and want to keep using their platforms. Only last year, whistle-blower Frances Haugen opened up some of Instagram’s dirty secrets to the world, and if this leaked Facebook document is anything to go by, it seems that social media firms could be incapable of meeting the standards regulators are setting for them.
Nobody should be holding their breath for confirmation of this – Facebook will inevitably play the leak down. But as it once more cranks up the PR machine, it’s clear that it’s harder than ever for social media giants to walk the tech tightrope, only adding fuel to the argument that they’ve grown so big, so quickly, that even they don’t know how to the tame the beast anymore.
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