Facebook privacy protection illustration.
Facebook as Big Brother.
Illustration depicting Facebook’s logo as part of a face with the caption “Facebook is watching you”.
The face is meant to evoke the concept of Big Brother, from George Orwell’s 1984 (especially because of the eyes). The caption is based on the 1984 slogan “Big Brother is watching you”.
Facebook monitors and 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 becomes more and more worrying. Facebook, Google and other internet megacompanies could easily take on a Big Brother type role.
At the moment (2012) 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.
Update 2020: Facebook is being sued in the USA because of its near monopoly in the fields in which not operates (it now also owns Instagram and WhatsApp).