Facebook has recently dealt with criticism from individuals within the tech industry, including former company employees, regarding its handling of users and their privacy. That was the case again this week when startup founder Gabriel Weinberg wrote an op-ed for CNBC encouraging users to raise concerns with how Facebook and Google track our behavior around the web.
“These two companies have amassed huge data profiles on each person, which can include your interests, purchases, search, browsing and location history, and much more,” he wrote. “They then make your sensitive data profile available for invasive targeted advertising that can follow you around the Internet.”
It’s true: according to a recent study, 24 percent of websites have a function for Facebook trackers. In response to this, Weinberg wrote, users shouldn’t rely on the company to regulate itself. Instead, people should use privacy-friendly browser add-ons, strengthen privacy settings on Facebook itself, and perhaps even leave the platform entirely. He also called on legislators to demand more transparency from tech companies, and to create laws that guarantee people own their own data.
These are big demands, and there doesn’t appear to be any real legal traction to regulate Facebook — yet. But with more pressure like this, there could come a day where the social media giant is held fully accountable for protecting us.