More and more people are choosing to close their longstanding personal Facebook profile and create Facebook IDs that are anonymous both to the general public and to the site itself. Why? Because the site is changing and, if recent Facebook privacy allegations are anything to go by, the firm is more concerned with the revenue it can make from each Facebook ID than with the individuals behind each Facebook ID.
In 2012 Facebook was floated for $104.2 billion, as almost half of the social networking firm was bought by private shareholders. In the months that followed, the site's stock then saw a drop of almost half its initial flotation value. Pressure on the company to monetize its services has been on a steady rise ever since. And although the company has considered branching into areas like mobile phone manufacture, it was always clear that the pressure would only ever be vented one way: by increased advertising revenue.
When a site like Facebook – which elicits and stores personal user data – seeks to maximize profits from advertising revenue, user privacy inevitably suffers. You need only search under
Facebook lawsuit privacy or
The enormous amount of resulting personal data that Facebook and its affiliates collect on every user is ultimately stored on multiple servers managed by multiple firms. And you, the user, have no idea how secure that data is. When even US defence companies such as Lockheed Martin and Stratfor have seen themselves hacked recently, it's fair to say that your personal life is there for the taking if hackers are just motivated enough to look for it. Nobody can be sure where this growing Facebook privacy invasion problem will eventually take us – politically, commercially or personally; but privacy advocates are very worried indeed.
And it is not just marketers, governments and thieves we should fear – society itself can also be a threat. Your links to your friends on Facebook defines one aspect of your identity. A cyberstalker or cyberbully who is able obtain this information will be able to stalk you indefinitely by hacking your friends. It is easy to change our internet addresses but, for most of us, it is far more difficult to cut off our friends. An anonymous Facebook account will help, to some extent, to prevent these types of hacking attacks.
Now you better understand why owners of the much-brokered Facebook ID are beginning to look for ways to make their experience on Facebook anonymous – to the site itself, and many others besides.
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