When Congress grilled Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s disclosure of the personal data of 87 million of its users without their specific consent, it called for more individual control over personal data. Two senators asked whether Facebook would support their proposed Consent Act, which would require companies to provide such control.
But the disclosure of Facebook users’ personal information is only half the problem. The other half is what Cambridge Analytica did with this data. It used big data analytics to infer the personality type of each of these users and then sent them psychologically manipulative political ads. More consent rights will not solve this second problem. Most people do not understand how big data analytics works. This prevents them from making informed choices about whether to subject their personal information to it.
Author: Dennis Hirsch