Facebook privacy protection illustration.
Illustration depicting Facebook’s policy of storing data about Facebook users.
Graphic incorporating the Facebook logo as the trunk of an elephant, with the caption “Facebook never forgets”, based on the saying “An elephant never forgets”.
The cartoon was inspired by an article in the New York Times, reprinted in the Observer on 12th Feb 2012: Taking a Stand to Protect Privacy by Somini Sengupta.
According to the article, Facebook retains vast amounts of information about Facebook users, including deleted posts and messages, and also stores information about the user’s physical location. Such information helps Facebook and other companies target advertising on individuals.
As Facebook and similar organisations become bigger and more powerful the implications of their use of user data become more and more worrying. Facebook, Google and other internet megacompanies could easily take on a Big Brother type role.
At the moment the use of user data is probably concentrated in marketing and market related spheres, however there is no reason why such data couldn’t be used in future by repressive governments or other repressive controlling organisations.
A graphic depicting issues concerned with internet privacy