Online Assignment 4-5
To start this assignment, I requested my archive from Facebook, came back a few days later, and noticed that the file to download was expired since you are only able to open it shortly after getting it. I just thought it was extremely strange for Facebook to only give me access to the data they have on my life for less than 2 days before it becomes closed and I have to re-request the file again. After I explored through the numerous files, the most unsettling data that I found was the facial recognition information they have on me. That was the last thing I expected to find in the information they store about me. I always thought it was weird how Facebook could tag all your friends in pictures for you, but never thought about the other possibilities this information could be used for until now. Most of the other information, security settings, friends, pokes, events, messages and pictures don’t really bother me much. Half of that stuff is accessible to thousands of people by just scrolling down my page further. The thing I find confusing, is why are there even security settings, when so much information about you given away without your knowledge.
After getting my google information, it was clear that they don’t know much about me. Other than the fact I am a male with an age between 18 and 24, they don’t have any other information. Under the section humorously titled interests, they have listed categories from key words I have searched on google in the past. I guess I never knew my interests are banking, classical music, East Asian music, visual art and design among other more accurate topics. They also have me listed at blocking zero advertising campaigns when in fact I block every advertisement from appearing on my computer. I would have thought that more information was collected about me since everything I do goes through google to begin with.
Overall, this experience wasn’t very surprising to me. I think the algorithm designed to direct advertisements is great since there is nothing more useless than a company paying money to show an ad to people who don’t care. This exercise shows that each time you log into Facebook or search google, more is happening than what you see which brings a new perspective into what you do online. Every conversation you have on the internet is kept somewhere. Today, delete is thought of a way to make something go away forever. So many movies are based around the sole idea of finding a way to delete some information, when in reality, there are always traces. Fields have been found based on recovering lost data, and companies now check profiles before hiring. Although the delete button is available, society needs to understand that it’s not there to fix mistakes.