Social Media: Mr. Zuckerberg Goes To Washington.
Sep 27 2011
First came the heavyweight lobbyist in the form of Joel Kaplan, former deputy chief of staff under George W. Bush and the man known throughout Washington as responsible for successfully shepherding the highly invasive Patriot Act through Congress. Now comes the PAC (Political Action Committee) which will funnel political donations to various political candidates who might be persuaded to help them advance their policy interests. This is no coincidence.
There is a fierce battle up ahead over control of end user data which companies like Facebook are currently busy stockpiling. Two proposed bills that would curb the amount of end user data that can be collected are currently winding their way through the Byzantine legislative process in the U.S. Congress. Simply put, Facebook wants to ensure that whatever limitations on their data collecting activities which result from this legislation remain as innocuous as possible.
And don't make the mistake of assuming that this stockpiled data stops at your Facebook activities (it does not) or that its uses are reserved exclusively for the purposes of targeted adverts (it isn't). As with any sector heavily reliant on research and development of new products and services, you need to fast forward five to ten years ahead and beyond to anticipate how the countless tidbits of information about every aspect of your personal and professional life (both online and off) and that of your community might be valuable to Facebook and many others. If you're not already worried about your privacy, you should be.
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