The mass surveillance of society has made companies extremely wealthy

TheIdea – The Innovation Agency

The Facebook news ban revealed how problematic it is to rely on corporations to provide fundamental public services

By business reporter Gareth Hutchens

Graphic shows two people on laptops in front of the Facebook logo.
Facebook harvests our personal data in unimaginable quantities, Gareth Hutchens writes.(Reuters: Dado Ruvic)

The fog lifted for a moment.

Last week, when Facebook blocked Australians from viewing and sharing “news content” on its platform, we saw what role it plays in Australian society.

Community groups, charities, sport clubs, arts centres, unions and emergency services all rely on the social media giant.

Its platform plays the role of an important public messaging board.

But in a country with so little civil society infrastructure, our heavy reliance on a corporation to provide such a fundamental public service is deeply problematic.

Facebook, Inc. doesn’t care about your fundraiser or political protest.

It couldn’t care less about your art exhibition.

What it cares about is your personal data, which…

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