The truth is that Facebook’s great value has come from making the rest of us lose control. Yes, we can decide what photos and status updates and biographical details we plug into Facebook’s gaping maw. But the most valuable insights have been gleaned from the things we didn’t even realize we were giving away.
Facebook knows what I read on the internet, where I want to go on vacation, how late I stay up at night, whose posts I scroll quickly by, and whose posts I pause to linger over. It knows that I took reporting trips to Montana and Seattle and San Diego, despite the fact that I have never allowed it to track me by GPS. It knows my father’s cell phone number, despite the fact that he has never signed up for its service, because I was stupid enough to share my contacts with it once, several years ago.
It knows all of these things that are, in my opinion, none of its goddamn business