Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion -

y nieces and neph­ews even­tu­ally had a good free­lance ca­reer. For many years now, one of their for­eign clients trusted them of an out­sourced job on­line - pro­files mon­i­tor­ing.

So what they just do is that run this ap­pli­ca­tion in­tro­duced by their client, and they can see even­tu­ally all users who signed up for this dat­ing so­cial net­work­ing plat­form. The task is sim­ple: scan through the photos of the users and see if there are themes or con­tents that vi­o­lated the so­cial net­work plat­form’s com­mu­nity stan­dards. On this case, should they see raunchy im­ages to the point it is porno­graphic or sex­u­ally ex­plicit, they report it. And at some ex­tent, they can re­move the photos or block the users in ques­tion.

It was quite en­vi­ous, they just look at the screen with dif­fer­ent photos of ran­dom peo­ple who up­loaded in their pro­files, while at the same time do a side­line gig by play­ing DOTA2 on the other screen, and at the end of the day, they would earn three to four times higher than an or­di­nary cor­po­rate em­ployee. There was a time that the task be­came so vo­lu­mi­nous, even my 76-year-old father is be­ing paid to mon­i­tor for four hours a day, and the pay­check is still higher than fast­food chain man­ager.

So when the news broke out about how Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica “har­vested” mas­sive data from Face­book and how it al­legedly con­trolled the vot­ing pref­er­ences of Amer­i­cans that led to the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, some peo­ple went gaga. But for me, I can’t help but chuckle of their naive reactions.

And since some of us are so en­am­ored with any­thing for­eign, es­pe­cially the United States, some re­ports in­sin­u­ated that the data min­ing firm might also had a hand in the Philip­pine elec­tions that also led to the vic­tory of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Dutere.

The me­dia was hys­ter­i­cal about it, telling us that we are not safe when we surf the in­ter­net and use our so­cial me­dia ac­counts. More so, when a report sug­gested that Face­book and Google look up on our pri­vate mes­sages and store them for pos­si­ble vi­o­la­tions of their com­mu­nity stan­dards. That means, they would know who you are, your in­ter­ests, your ad­dresses and other in­for­ma­tion about you from your pref­er­ences to your life­style habits.

This whole sce­nario is quite amus­ing, to be frank, be­cause for one, the me­dia por­trayed this whole “mas­sive” data breach like it’s the blun­der of the cen­tury with an alarmist tone that we may not be safe at all from any en­ti­ties that will ex­pose our right to pri­vacy (be­cause, in­deed it is se­ri­ous).

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