Privacy: Facebook Crash

Posted August 8, 2018
Written by Mark Heyink
On the 25th July 2018 as a result of announcements that were made by Facebook relating to its future revenues the market value of Facebook dropped by US$ 148 billion (or R1,95 trillion). This is almost half of South Africa’s total GDP in 2016.

While there may be several reasons for the decline in Facebook’s revenue which led to the sell-off of shares, one of the three primary factors for the decrease in projected profitability of Facebook is the focus on privacy and security. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has for many years disregarded the privacy of users and was once quoted as having said “We have no privacy, get over it”. For this reason long before it became fashionable to do so, I likened Zuckerberg to the robber barons in previous centuries who had no regard for individual rights if they were in conflict with making money.

Recently, through the Cambridge Analytica debacle and the clear intent of legislators around the world but particularly in Europe to curb Facebook’s criminal disregard for the rights of individuals, there has been a realisation that privacy is a critically important issue in our 21st century information society.

We can only hope that our leaders in both the public and the private sector take notice of the fact that even a company of the magnitude of Facebook is not immune to public opinion and eventually will be penalised if it breaks the law. Government must do a lot more to ensure that our legal and business framework takes proper cognizance of this global issue. So too must business recognise that the short term gains of exploiting personal information for financial gain aside from being a direct contravention of the constitutional right of privacy, are simply not sustainable.

©Mark Heyink 2018

www.privacyonline.co.za

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  • 08 August 2018 - 13:41:00
    On the 25th July 2018 as a result of announcements that were made by Facebook relating to its future revenues the market value of Facebook dropped by US$ 148 billion (or R1,95 trillion). This is almost half of South Africa’s total GDP in 2016.

    While there may be several reasons for the decline in Facebook’s revenue which led to the sell-off of shares, one of the three primary factors for the decrease in projected profitability of Facebook is the focus on privacy and security

  • 08 August 2018 - 13:36:00
    As I wrote in a previous article, South Africa according to the PWC Global economic crime and fraud survey of 2018 suffers the second highest number of cybercrimes of all the countries in the world. While I have no statistics to support this I would suggest that internet banking fraud must rank as one of the primary attack vectors for cybercriminals.

    The Ombudsman for Banking Services of South Africa (Ombud) reported that for the first time in 2017 internet banking fraud was the category of crime that was most prevalent of the disputes that the Ombud has been requested to deal with. No less than 1377 internet banking complaints were closed by the Ombud in 2017. It is clear that significantly more citizens are victims of internet banking fraud as not all of the matters have been referred to the Ombud.