Few things are more annoying than getting a call or an email from an unknown source and realizing that your data privacy has been breached yet again. Spam is an inevitable part of life in the modern world, but there are some pieces of information which we don’t want anyone to have.
A good example of this are our Facebook profiles, which contain intimate details about our lives. So, naturally, people were outraged when news broke that Facebook had passed on the details of a reported 50 million users to a data mining firm called Cambridge Analytica.
Check out the video below where Steve Jobs gives a chilling warning to the social media giant:
This scandal is not the first time that Cambridge Analytica has hit the headlines. The firm’s use of data has previously been linked to the election of Donald Trump and the victory of the Leave campaign in the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum in 2016.
The information obtained by Cambridge Analytica was taken without users’ permission, and, in 2010, Steve Jobs made a point of stressing the importance of companies spelling out their privacy rules in “plain English and repeatedly” to prevent scandals like this from happening.
Jobs, who died in 2011, explained the importance of data protection at the Wall Street Journal conference ‘All Things Digital’ in LA, and a certain giant of the social media world, namely Mark Zuckerberg, just so happened to be in the audience. Awkward.
The Apple founder was made these comments after Google was accused of intercepting US data sent over unencrypted wi-fi routers, reports Quartz, and, at the time, Facebook was in the process of updating its privacy controls.
Here’s exactly what Jobs had to say about the importance of data privacy:
“Silicon Valley is not monolithic. We’ve always had a very different view of privacy than some of our colleagues in the Valley.
Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. I’m an optimist; I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do.”
“Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data.
A lot of people in the Valley think we’re really old-fashioned about this, and maybe we are, but we worry about stuff like this.”
The data privacy scandal has hit Zuckerberg hard, and his net worth dropped by a staggering $5.1 billion in hours because people lost so much faith in Facebook. His net worth is now $69.5 billion after the removal of $37 billion in market value.
Zuckerberg addressed the scandal in a Facebook post last week:
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.
I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
Meanwhile, a number of prominent figures, including entrepreneur Elon Musk, have taken a stand against Facebook by deleting their accounts. Musk deleted not only his own page but Tesla and SpaceX’s pages – the companies he is CEO of.
Musk’s decision to join the #DeleteFacebook movement, which spawned on Twitter after news of the data breach broke, was inspired by the following tweet from computer programmer Brian Acton.
However, it’s worth noting that Action is the co-founder of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook in 2014.
Musk replied to Action’s tweet with the following quip:
But it’s not just big names who have decided to delete their Facebook accounts in the wake of the data breach scandal. Countless Average Joes have been doing it too.
If only Zuckerberg had paid closer attention to what Steve Jobs was saying back in 2010!
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