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#16Facebook Threatens our Right to Privacy

“Yes, but I have nothing to hide.”

This objection of indifference is often used to justify our blind and simple enrollment to the “free” services of the platform.

Our institutions have worked during decades to put in place laws and measures to protect the right to privacy of every citizen. Article 12 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to the protection of the law against interference or attacks to their own privacy.

And yet, using unprecedented technologies, companies still find the way to bypass these provisions.

By including a “catch-all” clause in its Terms of Service, Facebook is therefore “authorized” by the user accepting the contract to collect any information about them, including information Facebook never tells us (such as our interactions with users who do not have a Facebook account). This information goes well beyond what we give consciously (our name, our profile photo or our “Likes”), since the breadcrumbs left by our behaviour are far from being limited to the visible part of what we do online.

And by combining our data with those of our friends, Facebook can produce even more accurate models about yourself.

The day we need something truly private that we do not wish to share with others (such as our financial, medical or real-estate situation), we will no longer be able to take it back: it is a right that we hand over with our personal data.