Cambridge Analytica swiped the personal data of more than 50 million Americans from Facebook to make electoral propaganda. It was targeted by individual ‘psychographic’ personality type. It violated the security claims that Facebook promised to its users, but it could be more harmful than a simple data theft.
Cambridge Analytica is in the midst of a media firestorm after an undercover sting operation caught senior executives boasting about psychological manipulation, entrapment techniques and fake news campaigns. Although, the company’s CEO has been suspended and the country’s Information Commissioner is seeking a warrant to raid the office.
Advertisers, governments, criminals, predators of all sorts now seek to harness that power. Autocracies can be supercharged by information sufficient to predict and affect future behavior. The Chinese Communist Party is using these tools to perfect a form of nondemocracy and un-freedom that may govern the majority of the human race by the end of the 21st century.
As voters and citizens, we must govern through our ability to understand one another and seek the common good. Behavior collecting social media companies offering ‘convenient’ services are now powerful enough to distort that form of society into something unimaginably darker.