Who’s Actually Reading

Your memories on Facebook

Mark, we care about you and the memories that you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this profile photo from 2 years ago.

I saw one of those this morning. What a load of BS. These kind of messages really drive me crazy because of the ridiculous tone. ‘We care about you.’ Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? I think I’m going to deactivate it again.

Honestly, when I saw it today my first thought was, you don’t know a thing about me, but Facebook arguably knows more about me than anyone else. The disgusting amount of information they have on us, from what we give them willingly, to what they gather as they follow us across the internet, is terrifying. Even for people who’ve never had an account, the company has a wealth of knowledge about you.

It’s wild. A company started by a guy in college (I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m a little fuzzy on the details. I also don’t know how accurate the movie is) is now one of the most powerful businesses in the world. And I hope he has a good team, because they have so much power.

If we feel like the power fossil fuel companies have today is bad, what is the landscape going to be like in the future when it’s Google, Apple, Facebook, and whoever else buying all the politicians? They know everything about us.

I was thinking about this the other day. As companies and governments have more and more information about us, what is that world going to look like? How will malevolent regimes use that power to crush dissent? During the Harper-era of Canadian politics CSIS and the RCMP watched environmentalists and Indigenous communities who were (and remain) opposed to projects like pipelines and destructive resource-extraction. They probably still do.

Below the surface, behind the scenes, on the net, control over people is changing in a huge way. It doesn’t help that in Canada we keep electing people who don’t understand the ramifications, or don’t care–a problem that is a million times worse in the States, and arguably causes more problems to us here and to our friends across the globe, than domestic policies do.

And the weirdest part of all of it to me is that it’s impossible to know what these companies know about us. Government’s in Europe are trying to crack down on these things, like with the ‘Right to be Forgotten’–in short to take yourself offline–but at the end of the day companies break laws and keep doing more intrusive things every day.

Anyway, I’m not the person to be talking about online privacy. There’s a wealth of information online if you’re curious about it, but if there’s a small take away from this blog, it’s just to think about it. Ugh. We care about you.

(Because this is just a blog post I’m not going to source anything, so take what I say as you will, but if you look up these issues you’ll find a lot written on them).