You have no idea how much computers know about you…..

So as of late March 2018, Facebook is the bad-boy of the internet , mainly because of the striking revelation that it gave the profile data of 50 million members to Cambridge Analytica without any consent whatsoever. The world may blame Facebook, but if you are a Facebook user, then you have take a fair share of the blame as well.

If you are on “social” media, then the prime consideration is sharing information and data. That is the whole purpose of being on social media. If you believe that just setting up privacy settings keeps your social data safe from unwanted people, you are only partly correct.

You must take the whole concept of “privacy” with a huge pinch of salt, once you are on a social platform.

Privacy may be a right which is given to you, but if you are REALLY worried about keeping things private then you should just stay offline. Being on a social platform and wanting privacy is a like a person standing under a waterfall , expecting that he should be given an umbrella so that he does not get wet.

So now here is where I give you even more bad news. Your Facebook activity logs can be used to build a highly accurate personality profile about you.

Computers are now so smart at understanding people’s habits and likes and dislikes that if you have clicked the Like button 10 times on different posts, algorithms can know you better than your acquaintances and colleagues. If you do  150 likes , they know you better than your friends and family. If you cross 300 likes then they know you better than any other person this planet. You are more predictable than you think and your social footprint is a dead giveaway on your behaviour. Companies like Cambridge Analytica are in demand because they can predict the behaviour of a large section of the population whose online data is available for mining.

It is important to accept the truth that there really is no actual privacy in the online world.

As a parting shot, here is a link to an application called ApplyMagicSauce, developed by the University of Cambridge, which gives you a demo of how your Facebook and Twitter activity gives a personality profile. You can give it a try – its not very accurate but it is quite interesting as a demonstration of how effective data mining can be , given the proper data and algorithms.

(Featured Photo by William Iven)

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