The Federal Trade Commission has handed down a $5 billion fine to Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica breach.
Privacy in 2019 is a very peculiar thing. On the one hand, we like to think that we value it more than we ever have done before. We certainly pay more attention to it now than we did 20, 30 years ago. But on the other hand, our lives have never been more accessible to strangers than they are right now.
How often do you allow an app to access your phone without even thinking about it? Or do a little online banking while connected to public WiFi? We claim we care, but most of us do very little to protect ourselves when it really comes down to it. The fact that massive companies which pretty much all of us use are exploiting that fact doesn't really help.
Take Facebook for instance. Business Insider has reported that the social media giant was recently slapped with a $5 billion fine for the Cambridge Analytica data breach. It has been a long time coming, and Mark Zuckerberg has been hit with more than just a financial penalty. The Financial Trade Commission has also demanded Facebook make "sweeping changes" to the way it handles its users' privacy.
Some of the new rules and regulations being forced on Facebook include not using people's phone numbers for advertising purposes, and a ban on asking for email passwords to other services. Some are of the belief all of this is still not enough, though. Two members of the FTC described the hefty $5 billion fine as a "substantial undervaluation" when quantifying the damage the data breach has done.
Despite Facebook being largely seen as an evil entity nowadays, and maybe even a platform that can't be trusted, chances we will still all continue to use it. You might have even accessed this article via Facebook. Which harks back to what we said at the beginning of this article. We are all very concerned about our privacy and our data, but not enough that we are willing to give up even the smallest part of our lives, including scrolling and posting on social media.