It’s over when you post something on Facebook: Are we giving up the right to privacy ourselves?

Cập nhật: 09:45, 21/04/2021 (GMT+7)
It’s over when you post something on Facebook: Are we giving up the right to privacy ourselves?
It’s over when you post something on Facebook: Are we giving up the right to privacy ourselves?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat in front of members of both houses of the US Congress in April 2018 and told them that his company respects the privacy of almost two billion of its users.

Zuckerberg did not define “privacy” on that occasion, but he mentioned that concept more than ten times. “Privacy protection is a broader concept” than what federal privacy regulators oblige us to do, and “we believe that all people around the world deserve good privacy control,” Zuckerberg told Intersept before the House and Senate committees. .

A year later, in interviews and comments, Zuckerberg claimed to have discovered a religion of personal privacy and promised to rebuild the company on that model.

However, just a few months after Zuckerberg presented on Facebook “a vision of social networks focused on protecting privacy, his lawyers explained to a judge in California that privacy on Facebook does not really exist.

“Intercept” reports that the debate in the courtroom took place while Facebook tried to avoid a lawsuit by users who were dissatisfied because their personal data was shared without their knowledge with the consulting company “Cambridge Analytics” and later with Donald Trump’s campaign advisers. Zuckerberg publicly apologized for forwarding the data to the company “Cambridge Analytics” and said that he would invest all efforts and funds so that it would not happen again. However, in the California courtroom, the story unfolded quite differently. The company Facebook was represented before Judge Vince Cabri by lawyer Orin Schneider, who claimed that the lawsuit for violating privacy was invalid for the simple reason that Facebook users on that social network do not expect privacy.

There is no interest in privacy, because when you share information with hundreds of friends on one of the social network platforms, which is actually an affirmative act of publishing, disclosing, sharing private information with hundreds of people, then you practically gave up a reasonable expectation of privacy protection Schneider claimed in California and in a way suggested that a third party could not violate something that you destroyed yourself.

Schneider elegantly defined Facebook as a “social act of publishing private information.” So it turns out, according to “Intercept”, that the legal position of Facebook is that you have no right to expect privacy, but it is also your fault that all expectations disappeared the moment you became part of the network or when you connected with 100 Facebook “friends” .

California Judge Vince Chabria was skeptical of Schneider’s argument about the lack of privacy on Facebook and rejected it, claiming that it offered only extreme options: “either you expect complete privacy, or you do not expect any privacy.”

Facebook’s position that if someone really wants something to remain private, then they should not publish it

The judge also presented a hypothetical situation: “If I share information with ten people, it does not eliminate my expectations of privacy. It may diminish them, but it does not eliminate them. And if I share something with ten people, implying that the instrument that helped me share it will not pass it on to thousands of companies, I do not understand how I cannot expect privacy and why it is not a violation of my privacy, “said Cabrija.

Schneider responded with an incredible metaphor that shows how Facebook, at least in the legal sense, views its users.

“Let me present my hypothetical situation. I walk into the room and invite a hundred friends. I rent, for example, this courtroom and have a party. Then I reveal something private about myself to hundreds of people, friends and colleagues. These friends then rent an arena of 100,000 seats and share that information with 100,000 people. I have no reason to complain because when I told hundreds of people my private information, I denied a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the law is clear there. “

The Facebook lawyer went on to claim that this is exactly why every parent tells their child not to post something on Facebook that they would not like to be in the school newspaper tomorrow.

“Intercept”, quoting the minutes, states that the judge asked “how it is not a violation of privacy that if Facebook promises not to forward anything that users share with friends, then it violates that promise and sends photos to thousands of corporations.”

Schneider did not blink: “Facebook believes that there is no reason to sue, according to the laws of California.”

The attitude of Facebook that if someone really wants to keep something private, then they should not publish it on Facebook is at least strange, especially considering the fact that the company publishes an extremely thorough privacy policy.

“Facebook was created to bring people together,” reads the company’s “Principles of Privacy” at the beginning. “We help you connect with friends and family, find out about local events and find groups to join.” Nowhere is it mentioned that if you do any of this, the official position of Facebook is that you have in fact waived your right to privacy.

So the question is what is truth? Orin Schneider’s claims in a California courtroom or what Mark Zuckerberg said in a commentary in March this year when he wrote that “we are working hard to incorporate privacy into all of our products, including those used to share information.”

Both of these claims cannot be true, and yet they come from the same company, concludes “Intercept”. In any case, it will be interesting to see how Facebook faces these issues in several ways at once and from completely different aspects. On the one hand, he apologizes for his mistakes in front of the media, while in the relative privacy of the courtroom he completely rejects them.

Surveillance system or digital mausoleum

However, the Facebook lawyer admitted that there is one possibility of privacy on Facebook: someone who uses Facebook is the complete opposite of the way it was designed. “If you really want privacy,” Schneider said, “there are people who have archive pages on Facebook that are like their private mausoleums.” “Only they see them, and it’s a kind of archive that no one else can access.”

So the legal statuses for Facebook users are as follows: Either you are part of a constant surveillance or you live in a digital “mausoleum”. However, if you ever decide to open the door to your private crypto data and share some of the content on Facebook with friends, as the company has been encouraging you for the last 13 years, then you have completely given up control.

Jonh Tev

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