Facebook data sharing: Little understanding of pervasiveness of data in people's lives, experts say

Facebook data sharing: Little understanding of pervasiveness of data in people's lives, experts say

NUS Business School lecturer Alex Capri says CEO Mark Zuckerberg's two-day congressional appearance shows how little lawmakers and the general public understand about how data is used.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg defends his company's business model to the US House
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg defends his company's business model to the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce AFP/SAUL LOEB

SINGAPORE: Facebook’s shares may have rallied during CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week, but some observers said that could be a sign that some people have not grasped the full extent and significance of Facebook’s data collection efforts.

Speaking on the Asia Business First podcast on Channel NewsAsia, senior fellow and lecturer at NUS Business School Alex Capri said: “I think what comes out of this meeting is how far this whole digital phenomenon has progressed. The scale of it. And how little lawmakers and the general public understand about the pervasiveness of data in our lives."

Also speaking on the podcast, Ms Sheena Chin, country director of data management company Veritas' Singapore office, said: “Data is the currency of today’s world. Data is the new oil.”

And that is what has made Facebook so valuable.

But few have a full picture of what Facebook does with their information – not helped by its complicated user agreement.

While consumers have a responsibility to understand what they are using, Mr Capri said the problem is that technology has moved too fast for people to keep up.

“It’s absolutely a Faustian bargain. And if we are going to gain infinite knowledge and wisdom, we have to figure out who we’re selling our soul to. And that hasn’t happened.”

Even if one does not want to deal with Facebook, in today's interconnected world, it can be almost impossible to step away completely from social media.

Ms Chin of Veritas had this advice: “Share only the necessary. Maybe set a timeline. You don’t have to share it forever. Make sure your circle of friends gets to know what you want to share, and up to a certain time remove them.”

To listen to The ABF Podcast, click here

Source: CNA/wl

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