Facebook recently hit by lawsuit that it has used contents of private messages to sell it to third parties. Who third parties? Third party could be anyone, private firms or government, who knows. If you ask Facebook, in what circumstances you will be obliged to share the personal information to the concerned people? The simplest and straight forward answer you can expect will be “it depends”. Nothing is safe and you cannot hide anything which has a Facebook label on it. If regulation says, you cannot share it to any third-party except FBI, CIA, DEA etc. How about the idea of selling it to government and then think about buying it again from government, and then sell it? Twitter can seek to make money this way since it has been monitored since 2006, and why not Facebook? It is highly important to define the degree of selling and buying in this context.
It is a fact that Facebook’s entire business model is based on the information that users like, shares and up-load in order to sell it. This is not the first time they have been criticized for lack of transparency, and eventually some of the Facebook users perceive that they have crossed the limit this time. Facebook users Mathew Campbell and Michael Hurley have filled a class-action lawsuit on behalf of over 166m Facebook user (and if you use Facebook, you are included too). This is a fight for privacy that Facebook is violating Electronic Communication Privacy Act by using the information inappropriately and without the consent of the users.
On the other side of this lawsuit, there are people who don’t even care about Facebook using their shared details, but what if they change their mind tomorrow because of some instance which has reasoned explicitly in some sort of embarrassment. They may love Facebook today but might not be tomorrow, the more we understand and realize the impact the more we hate its existence. We respect, love, cares more about the things we don’t exactly know. The moment we realize we are done will be the day we’ll start ignoring and show disrespect, and Facebook can have negative impact equally.
So, let’s see how Facebook is dealing with this allegation. If Facebook is appealing and claiming that they don’t do that, what if in future we come across evidence that they actually did? A heavy penalty and in fact there will be a need for a strong offsets imposed for hiding and guiding us in a wrong way.