(Irvine, CA) March 22, 2018 – We are rooting for Facebook™, the social networking company, but they must first restore its forfeited trust. Until then, ScanMyPhotos.com is urging its worldwide customers who had pictures digitized to immediately delete them from the entire Facebook platform.
Founded in 1990, ScanMyPhotos, based in Irvine, Calif. has digitized more than 500 million pictures. As longtime advocates on important consumer and social issues, the company is urging every Facebook user to delete their account and not upload any pictures.
ScanMyPhotos is an unaffiliated content provider for all photo-sharing app innovators, including the behemoth Facebook platform. Yet, the photographic data that was digitized, then uploaded may become a doormat for data breaches. Will it be used by obstructionist advertisers who wield the market power to control content, often without awareness from Facebook’s unsuspecting users?
Cambridge Analytica LLC, the British-based data mining company accused of exploiting and improperly obtaining personal information from 50 million Facebook users underscores an alarming practice, yet it is just the tip of a haunting iceberg of alleged corruption. With $40 billion in 2017 advertising revenues, Facebook is everywhere and boasts 2 billion monthly users. One-quarter of all people use the platform which leads to lots of eyeballs, yet may be unsecured from fraud and misappropriating content shared by its users.
“Protecting the privacy of customers is the core of everything we do at ScanMyPhotos, yet Facebook let us and every user down. As loyalist advocates, we had recommended people upload their newly digitized pictures to post and share on Facebook,” said Mitch Goldstone, President & CEO of the e-commerce photo digitization service.
The problem with Facebook goes beyond making sure this does not happen again. It must be regulated, just as all other advertising is, and they must also lead with an “honest ads act” transparency law.
Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg in Cambridge, MA (not Cambridge Analytica), the CEO yesterday said: “privacy issues have always been incredibly important to people. One of our biggest responsibilities is to protect data.”
In response, Goldstone explained that “the social-media advertising company’s market power and priorities are misguided, as privacy must be their single biggest imperative. This is why they are now embroiled in this historic controversy. Facebook’s unsuspecting users are just the product, as the advertisers have become the customers.”
Few ever read or understand the legal terms of service contract prior to hypnotically clicking to approve. What happens to the uploaded pictures? Will a forensic audit of the firm reveal whether not just users’ background information, but their content and pictures may have been exploited and breached?
While Mr. Zuckerberg agrees to rectify the lost trust, he hasn’t “seen a meaningful number of people act on that [Delete Facebook campaign].” ScanMyPhotos hopes to get on their radar along with millions of others to create a movement to help restore trust. However, the advertising-supported business model, where users are the product is broken. According to Brian X. Chen, lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times, deleting Facebook is just the beginning as they own many other apps which are under its umbrella, including WhatsApp and Instagram. Closing your account may take days to process. For many, especially businesses, it is not so easy to delete Facebook as it has become a primary means to conduct commerce.
In a 2009 interview with the BBC’s Laura Trevelyan, when asked “so just to be clear, you’re not going to sell, or share, any of the information,” Zuckerberg replied: “the person who’s putting the content on Facebook always owns it… This is their information and they own it. What the terms say is just, we’re not going to share people’s information.” So much for Mark Zuckerberg’s presidential aspirations. Rhetorically, we wonder how that campaign would work – he, after all, commands of the very tools to duplicate and magnify Cambridge Analytica’s transgressions.
The Zuckerberg “I’m sorry” apology tour just does not cut it. This problem occurred three years ago.
Until their public responsibility is resolved and trust restored, ScanMyPhotos presses upon users to #DeleteFacebook.