One map shows how everything - from the links we post on Facebook, to the pages we like, to our online behaviour in many other corners of cyber-space that are owned or interact with the company (Instagram, WhatsApp or sites that merely use your Facebook log-in) - could all be entering a giant algorithmic process.And that process allows Facebook to target users with terrifying accuracy, with the ability to determine whether they like Korean food, the length of their commute to work, or their baby's age.Another map details the permissions many of us willingly give Facebook via its many smartphone apps, including the ability to read all text messages, download files without permission, and access our precise location.Individually, these are powerful tools; combined they amount to a data collection engine that, Mr Joler argues, is ripe for exploitation.Mr Joler, though, while admitting that his research made him a little paranoid about the information that was being harvested, is more worried about the longer term.The data will remain in the hands of one company. Even if its current leaders are responsible and trustworthy, what about those in charge in 20 years?Analysts say Share Lab's work is valuable and impressive. "It's probably the most comprehensive work mapping Facebook that I've ever seen," says Dr Julia Powles, an expert in technology law and policy at Cornell Tech."[The research] shows in cold and calculated terms how much we are giving away for the value of being able to communicate with your mates," she says.The scale of Facebook's reach can be stated in raw numbers - but Share Lab's maps make it visceral, in a way that drawing parallels cannot."We haven't really got appropriate historical analogies for the tech giants," explains Dr Powles. Their powers, she continues, extend "far beyond" the likes of the East India Company and monopolies of old, such as Standard Oil.(http://www.bbc.com/news/business-3994...)
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