Facebook’s entire business model is built on obtaining as much information about its users as possible — but the extent to which that’s true can still shock. It even surprised former CIA agent Yael Eisenstat, who joined the company last year (for six months) to help it combat election interference. In a wide-ranging interview with WIRED, Eistenstat revealed just how powerful Facebook is when it comes to collecting data, and what she thinks the company needs to do to fix itself.
I get to make this joke — not everyone does, having been in both places — but Facebook knows you better than the CIA ever will,” Eisenstat said. “Facebook knows more about you than you know about yourself.”
Despite being brought in to clean up Facebook’s security, Eisenstat said that she was actively shut out and sidelined from doing anything to help. Instead, she said, the company settled for solutions that accomplished the bare minimum while still putting the responsibility on someone else. Ultimately, Eisenstat believes more people need to be made aware of just how much Facebook is using its business model to take advantage of user psychology.
I think the more that human beings start to realize they’re being manipulated, the more this relationship is going to come under pressure,” she said.
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