Facebook Likes could be used against you 1/20/15

By Chris Johnson

From the New York Times:

A new study suggests that based on your Facebook likes, a computer model can predict your personality better than your friends — and in some ways, know more about your life than you do. This also means anyone who can see your Facebook profile could one day learn about your personality, and make determinations about your future job performance, your creditworthiness and more.

(...) Personality assessments don’t just reveal positive attributes, she noted — “there’s also people whose personalities may have some negative implications, like they’re very absent-minded or they have short attention spans.” And if computerized personality screening and data collection become widespread, such people could lose out on jobs, be denied bank loans or even be flagged for extra security at airports. “It’s not always a good story for everybody,” she said.

If we don’t want our data used against us, we will have to be more circumspect about how we use social networks. Based on past performance1, we can’t expect Facebook or the U.S. government to protect our privacy. The more data Facebook collects, the more valuable it is as an advertising platform. As for the U.S. government, it seems hell-bent on collecting every last bit of our data, in the name of anti-terrorism.