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The ‘wild west’ period of social media comes to an end

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify Tuesday before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Suddenly it’s Facebook that finds itself surrendering its privacy. For cybersecurity expert Molly McKew, it’s about time.

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“And I think that this really signals the end of this wild west period…”

She knows Facebook has to sell your data to advertisers, or else there’s no company.

“Users are not the clients. They are very much the product being sold to advertisers and others. But it’s the question of the ‘and others’ that I think needs to be defined in some of these hearings.”

She doesn’t see how Mark Zuckerberg could’ve missed the political exploitation that was going on under his nose:

“Did they know that all these campaigns had huge data sets that clearly came from Facebook or other social media scraping. And it’s not just in the United States.”

Facebook also operates in Russia where the rules are a little different.

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“Basically, for any companies like this, including Uber and other things, you have to store your data with an access to — there’s a Russian media monitoring state agency in order for you to operate there. It’s this whole, it’s being used for other things you don’t know about aspect that I think makes people uncomfortable.”

So your data can end up anywhere.

Why not just put a big red button on the privacy page which says, “I do not want any of my news chosen for me by a Russian oligarch.” How difficult could that be?

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