Saturday, 14 April 2018

Accepting responsibility

Mark Zuckerberg is under heavy fire these days for letting personal data be harvested from facebook users without their consent.  Well, it seems a bit odd to me to blame him alone for all that!  Just a few years ago, facebook was the buzzword.  Everyone had a facebook account.  One who didn't was frowned upon as if he or she were a dinosaur.  People posted anything and everything on facebook.  From group photos to selfies of oneself in the privacy of one's room;  from picnic photos to private parties; anything... just anything! 

A couple of months ago a thief in Karnataka was arrested for looting clean a house, while the owners were away on a holiday.  On interrogation, the thief revealed that he emptied the house bit by bit.  Not only that he practically lived in that house for the whole duration that the family was away.  Packing up things during the day, cooking for himself, sleeping the night and leaving early in the morning with all things he had packed.  On asking if he was not frightened of the arrival of the owners, he said, he wasn't... because the family was religiously updating its facebook account with photos and quips about their holidays.  He had nothing to fear since he knew when exactly they would be returning!! 

So when people feel free to post anything they want on a public platform like the internet, even if they do not join any groups, they are still making themselves public.  So if an intelligent analyst builds up a profile of the individual from all that has been posted online, then one can only appreciate the analyst and not cry wolf! 

Facebook, like every other media, is a communication network or channel.  It can be used for good or for bad.  To engage with it, expecting what you share to be used for publicity but not for harvesting information, that what you yourself have posted - with great joy and pride - is being an ostrich. Zuckerberg, is to be blamed, but not solely! What Zuckerberg is being accused of, not taking responsibility for the information harvesting, everyone who feels 'aggrieved' too is guilty of.  He (or any other) would not have had it, if you had not offered it, sometime or other other, in some way or the other. 

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