technology | November 10, 2011

Rahaf Harfoush: Soon, Facebook Will Track Nearly Everything You Do

In the Mark this week, digital strategist Rahaf Harfoush has an eye-opening piece outlining Facebook's increasing appetite for collecting, and eventually sharing, your personal data. Harfoush disentangles Facebook's recently announced changes, which include tracking all of your Facebook actions, and quietly collecting data you might not be aware of—like whose profile you're viewing, and even what websites you visit when you're not logged into Facebook.

The picture Harfoush paints is startling, but not entirely surprising. As she notes, Facebook is not a public company; it is a private corporation, and one of their goals is to sell your information to other companies. She pulls back the curtain to warn us of this looming privacy nightmare:

Facebook will potentially know every book [its users have] read, every television show they've watched, every movie in their Netflix queue, every news article they've read, even every mile they've jogged, all because Facebook has helpfully set it up so that its partners can seamlessly collect that information. . . Facebook will know every time users have "liked" something. Factor in the information they know about where you're logging in from, whose profile you're visiting on Facebook and what sites you're going to when you're surfing the web and we have a ridiculously intimate and detailed dossier of your life that you're handing over to a privately owned corporation whose business model it is to sell that data to third parties.

Rahaf Harfoush has a deep passion for exploring how technology is affecting the way we communicate, work and play. The co-founder of Red Thread, Harfoush is a gifted speaker capable of forecasting trends and offering unique strategies and approaches to fields encompassing politics, business,  and education. She is currently working on her second book, entitled ArchiTechs: How to Live, Work & Govern in a HyperConnected world, set to be published in 2012.

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