Cambridge Analytica is reported to have both influenced 87 million Facebook users – without the users' knowledge, causing public outrage. The company's business model is said to focus on data collection and creating profiles using algorithms. This procedure is by no means unusual, especially in the consumer area.
“What Cambridge Analytica has obviously done in the past ratings or individual pricing, “says former German Federal Data Protection Commissioner Peter Schaar.
But what happens to our data on the Internet? A constant stream of data about our lives or our use of patterns. This includes purely technical information such as the IP address of the computer used, the location of the data or whether you are using an iPhone or Android device.
On top of this, Facebook likes to have a reliable way of determining characteristics such as age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, political orientation, relationship status and even alcohol consumption. Sometimes this information can be accessed by many people, depending on privacy settings.
This kind of information is often used to personalize advertising. However, experts warn that this can lead to discriminatory assessments of customers.
A typical example is price differentiation, says Schaar. For example, different people may be offered different prices when booking tickets for the same flight,
Some users are unaware of being exposed to these advertising strategies . They are based on
“Opacity is the key to any kind of good manipulation,” says Schaar. “The problem goes far beyond data privacy.” It's about secretly manipulating our needs, our actions or our voting behaviour.
In the wake of the scandal, Facebook took out full-page ads in user information.
Meanwhile, experts are hoping that new rules, such as the “The best data protection regulation in the European Union.”
“The advantage is that the General Data Protection Regulation applies throughout Europe and non-European companies. “That means Facebook, Google, Amazon and Co can no longer simply go on as before,” says Lina Ehrig of the German Federal Consumer Organizations 'Association. – dpa