Opinion

Facebook Can’t Be Trusted. It’s Time to Regulate It.

By Nicholas Economides

Nicholas Economides

The Facebook-Cambridge fiasco is an important wakeup call, but it is likely only the beginning of a thorough examination of tech companies’ widespread collection and possibly illegal use of user data.

Using public data posted on a web site is legal. This is the bread and butter of Internet marketing companies. But according to a recent New York Times investigation, Cambridge Analytica collected data from Facebook users and their friends without consent, leaving both companies potentially liable for their actions.

Cambridge certainly compiled a significant amount of information from 50 million Facebook profiles. But that data pales in comparison to the quality and quantity of user information that Facebook, and especially Google, have collected over the years. This is what we should really be concerned about.

It’s time for the government to regulate companies like Facebook before their collection practices irreparably harm users’ privacy.

Read the full article as published by Fortune.

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Nicholas Economides is a Professor of Economics at NYU Stern School of Business.