UAE Press: Facebook needs help to fix the rot

ABU DHABI, 8th August, 2018 (WAM) — Facebook already has a hand stuck in your data for the larger cause of ‘connecting people’ that it so proudly espouses, the Khaleej Times said on Wednesday.

“Not our words, but the social media giant’s, which many believe is now in an act to further its business, which is anyway booming albeit a blip recently over how honest it has been with what it collects about people,” it added in its Wednesday editorial.

“To put it succinctly, let’s say the company has our behavioural data as it watches what we do with great interest. Most people are happy parting with their personal lives online for they feel encouraged when talking to some stranger or renewing an old friendship. This is empowering in many aspects as the world becomes a smaller place with such pastimes that is serious business for the tech major.

“When it was caught out some months ago, the company apologised. FB’s top leadership led by Mark Zuckerberg was hauled over the coals, but there appears to be an insatiable appetite for more data concerning people and their transactions as the latest revelations about the company show. The report was quickly denied. Yet, we are unconvinced about FB’s intentions which border on intrusive behaviour,” the English language daily continued.

It added that what is more concerning is that the company wants to “put a hand in our wallets and understand our spending patterns, which is unacceptable, or could even be termed illegal behaviour.”

The report claimed that Facebook had approached banks like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bancorp for ‘information about account balances and card transactions’, the local paper continued, adding that FB denied such a direct approach and put out a statement for its side of story: “Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management.”

The local paper said, “Sounds above board but the social media firm is merely obscuring the facts that have emerged from the report.”

“And why should users trust FB with their virtual selves when they were handed over to third party operators like Cambridge Analytica some months ago? The scandal brought down the company’s stock last week, and profit took a hit, but the recent incident proves the social media major has failed to learn from its mistakes. Clearly, there’s something rotten in the state of Zuckerberg’s empire where people are treated as mere data. And it sucks,” the Dubai-based daily concluded.


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