Vincent Liu

Diary Of A Novice

Why I Don't Post on Facebook

As much as I try not to post technology-related posts on my personal blog, this one possibly merits so, given it clarifies my thoughts and position on why I generally don’t post anything at all on Facebook.

If you are in the the IT industry, then you should already know all about Facebook – much has been said about this high-profile public company. In a nutshell, they are an entity that makes profit out of people’s personal data. Now, there isn’t anything inherently wrong about that, because users are the ones who are willingly giving up this information, and the company so far had not attempted to use this information in a morally repugnant, or distasteful way by today’s social standards (although some of you might argue otherwise).

Technology as an enabler is a good thing, but I can’t help feeling using your personal information in exchange for easy accessibility with friends and family is like a Faustian pact. Tell me, how many of you know that, by posting your picture up on Facebook, the company retains perpetual rights to your pictures? Even if you choose to delete your copy of your picture, Facebook retains the legal rights to use that picture, for any purpose forever.

Facebook is also at the forefront of facial recognition, where its DeepFace technology boasts the capability of recognising a posted picture of you with up to 97.53% accuracy.

Put that together and Facebook has the capability to track you directly, and indirectly, though your friends’ postings, and build a dossier about you – one that knows about you more than you do. I sure am not sure about the wisdom of allowing so much information to be tracked about you involuntarily, and definitely a little too 1984-esque for my liking.

If there’s one thing as certain as death and taxes in the software industry, it would be programming bugs. And if one’s information can be hacked from Ashley Madison’s data breach, it is only a matter of time that will happen to Facebook. Leaking your private information, can ruin lives.

Why some people would risk sharing sensitive, private information, is ultimately one’s personal choice, but I am not that totally comfortable that a corporation has the capabilty to gather in-depth information about me, which I have no rights, ownership and control over, which is indirectly acquired through the actions of friends, rather than myself.

Friends, I’d prefer if you’d generally not post pictures with me in it, or keep the tags out of pictures of me – my sense of paranoia will thank you for it :)

(Image Credits: SMBC)

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