How Facebook has gotten away with its constant abuses dealing with the greatest raw material of all time, data about human preferences and interactions.
July 4.– Data is the primary raw material of our time — and Facebook is a key player in that arena.
But here’s the curious thing: Until the current brouhaha about Donald Trump’s posts, no matter what charge had been levied against the firm by whichever privacy or competition authorities, Facebook always portrayed itself as completely unperturbed.
Its nonchalance beats even the past imperial swagger that, before the age of data imperialism, U.S. oil companies used to be famous for.
But as much as the latter outsourced their dirty work to U.S. and UK intelligence agencies and operations, even they rarely claimed that they did not need any permits (and at least legal titles) for what and where they wanted to explore and drill.
Moreover, well over a century ago — in the earlier, rough-and-tumble capitalist times in the United States, the oil industry essentially had the privilege of operating in a quasi-lawless state. But the law — and antitrust — eventually caught up with it. It begs disbelief that Facebook should operate with less oversight than the oil industry of old had to contend with.
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