Mar 21, 2018

Facebook’s privacy invasion is the business model of the entire internet

The focus on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica obscures the extent to which the monetisation of privacy and its sale to advertisers is the core financial model of the online world.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

It took a concealed camera, some loose talk from the now-suspended Cambridge Analytica CEO and lurid references to Ukrainian women to get people to focus on the issue of the role played by data analytics in political campaigning. Until recently, that subject has primarily been of interest to privacy advocates and those worried about the steady development of what we used to call a surveillance state but is now more properly called a surveillance civilisation.

But the scandal is most accurately seen as an intersection of a number of separate privacy threats, rather than an example of particularly malevolent Trump-aligned actors.

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