Friday, April 13, 2018

One Of 87 Million

The privacy notice appeared so briefly on my Facebook Timeline last night that I barely had time to read it through.  I can’t find it this morning  and I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps I only imagined it.  No, I’m convinced the post was real [it can be found] and to tell the truth I was half-expecting it.  It told me that my personal information on Facebook was one of the 87 million (including Mark Zuckerberg’s) gleaned by Cambridge Analytica.  Using its database (including my stuff) collected from Facebook this data analysis firm attempted to influence the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump. 

Now the interesting thing is that I never logged on to the app (removed in 2015) that was used by Cambridge Analytica [according to the privacy notice from Facebook].   “However,” the Facebook privacy note continues, “a friend of yours did log in.”  Friendship goes a long way, they say, and it certainly proves true in this situation.  Unbeknownst to me or my “alleged” friend(s), his or her logging on to that app may have given away my personal profile, birthday, my FB ‘Likes,’ hometown, and perhaps even some of my posts and messages.  Yes, friendship, especially on Facebook, goes a long, long way!

In spite of this recent breach into my personal privacy,  I still celebrate my Facebook friends and I’m grateful to have them as part of my online community.  There is always a “cost” and a “risk” involved in friendship and in the building up of community, whether on a website or in real life.  There cannot be a friendship of any significance without taking the risk of revealing one’s self.  There cannot be a community unless its members are willing to pay the cost of making themselves known to one another.  

Most of my life has been committed to the belief that we are called to fulfill a divine destiny—the building up of friendships and the development of a beloved community.  We were created to live in unity with one another.  It is the only way we can live, grow, and thrive as human beings.  But this life together requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to be open, to take risks, to pay the costs and whatever else it may take to bring it to fruition.  

Whenever I use my credit card to make a purchase, whenever I deposit money in a bank, whenever I get a driver’s license, my “privacy” becomes subject to computerized scrutiny and subject to possible misuse.  It is part of the new world in which we live and it certainly makes us aware of our vulnerability.  Perhaps, in the long haul, it will help us and lead us on to our destiny.  

Community (a Life Together) is necessary to navigate the rapids
of life and of our time.  It means paddling together, and
we can't paddle together unless we know something about
each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment