Facebook and Cambridge Analytics brought data privacy breeches to everyone’s attention. The company’s mishandling of the scandal even gave it more bad press, but Internet users who worry about the 1984 Big Brother style collection of data have far more to be concerned about than Cambridge Analytics and Facebook, according to Techdirt.com
Cellular and broadband service providers are far worse about acquiring and selling data than social media sites. Not only are these companies complicit in the Nation Security Agency’s wholesale collection of private data, they collect far more information than even the NSA would use. The NSA, at least, is only interested in data that might represent a security threat to the United States. The broadband companies want to sell every bit of conceivable data on the free market. Their data mining and collection techniques are often aggressive and intrusive.
Even people who realize that social media and broadband companies collect their data may not be able to entirely prevent data collection in the modern world. Anyone who has a smart phone likely have Facebook installed as a default app. Removing this app on an Android phone requires the user to root the phone. Removing the Facebook app from iOS devices requires more than just jail breaking the device and is not recommended.
Facebook may have been wrong for threatening to news media outlets for threatening to reveal their private data, but the genie has been out of the bottle for a long time. There seems to be little most users can do about extensive data collection other than stopping to use cell phones with the Facebook app installed. Only market pressures and regulation that also affects federal government agencies can even halt the data collection now.
The current situation will remain the same or get worse in the future. Few people are going to give up their cell phones because they make life more convenient. The quick communication services these devices provide makes it less likely people will quit using these devices.