Facebook – “NEVER EVER AGAIN” – the scandal continues to grow 24 March

First, an apology from FB after a few days! This raises some crucial questions. Why so long? Doesn’t FB know what its own system is doing?? Or did they know, but had to figure out what their “optimal” response could and should be? Either which way,  it does not look too good at all IMHO whichever way you look at it, even with the best will in the world!

Should FB’s apology be accepted and/or should there be some strong and effectively punitive, financial penalties that encourage FB to understand that user rights and use of user data should not be abused and violated? In his statement MZ said “The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago”. Hardly confidence enhancing since if true, how come this has happened now?
Possibly financial sanctions should also be designed to ensure that if anything similar should ever happen again, FB knows what the outcome should, could,   and would be. And for that to happen, effective measures need to be taken now not at some indefinite time and place “tomorrow”.

Otherwise, repetitions will undoubtedly recur.Profits are too great for temptation to be resisted.

Just accepting a late and painless apology from FB does not seem to be a sufficient remedy. Substantial effort should be put into ensuring that FB plays by the rules such that income gained in any given country should be assessed for tax and paid as tax revenues in that country, and not merely be shifted to and declared in countries with the lowest possible corporate tax rates.
Real penalties are called for that could at least indirectly benefit users who have had their privacy violated in recent years.
In addition, if FB wishes to stay in business it should clarify and streamline its reporting systems so that users can monitor and “guide”  FB to do what is right. A couple of months ago I had to report a physically threatening post I received to FB, and received a cryptic response, without being able to get clarification from FB.
An apology alone is totally insufficient. It would mean we accept something like “We are terribly sorry we violated your privacy and did not follow our own terms and conditions. We did not mean to do this, we hope you will understand, our mission is to serve you to the best of our ability”. And not just to make enormous profits for our founders and shareholders. Or is FB, like some banks, too big to fail.
If it is close to that, then maybe that is all the more reason to make sanctions as punitive as possible.
So “NeverAgain” could be the buzz word to shout for a “call to effective action” before it is too late! And if this weakens FB, so be it, maybe it is worth the price even  though all some people may still think of FB as the world’s social media platform.

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