1. Today, personal information is a commodity. But whereas one would have expected the state to collect such information in the past, today it is the corporation that is amassing such knowledge. Western populations have been relatively content, until now to allow companies to learn vast amounts of information about them. Over the last two decades, companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have become interwoven in to the daily lives of citizens, and they have amassed extraordinary amounts of information at an individual user level for the purposes of targeted advertising. These developments have given technology corporations the ability to gain access to a degree of knowledge over individuals’ lives that a Western politician seeking election could only dream about. Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia described the use of data for commercial purposes as follows: “This is the story we have been waiting for so people will pay attention not just to Facebook but the entire surveillance economy.”
2. The business model of Facebook is to sell your data to companies that are willing to pay for it whilst protecting it from the same people. This sounds counter intuitive and it is. Facebook developed a tool called the Graph API (Applications Program Interface) to do just this, a suite of tools for developers to build and monitor the success of applications used by literally hundreds of millions of people. Prior to 2014, for example, developers had access to every friend that you added. After this point, the Graph API limited the amount of data, but would permit enough access to allow targeting of profiles based on activity.
3. Facebook openly explains to advertisers, marketers, literally anyone that is willing to pay to influence people’s actions that it is the platform to make that happen. Facebook “used link ads and video ads to boost Hispanic voter turnout in their candidate’s successful bid for a second term, resulting in a 22% increase in Hispanic support and the majority of the Cuban vote” . Facebook’s work with the Scottish National Party (SNP), was described as “triggering a landslide” . However, most notably is the impact Facebook has on the American elections. Cambridge Analytica in slides shown to the Guardian newspaper  highlighted its ability to use social media data to pinpoint specific messages to specific audiences depending on their online activity. This is something that all parties engaged in and attempted to do throughout the campaign, in this instance, it seems the Trump campaign was more successful.
Facebook’s mission is to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,” it should add for the purpose of micro targeting by complex algorithms that can segment hundreds of millions of people in milliseconds with the power of supercomputers. However, if the idea of being caught in Facebook’s online surveillance has made users angry then we should really reserve our wrath for the masters of online surveillance, the NSA.
5. Seven years ago the NSA began the building of the worlds largest data centre, the size of two football pitches . Considering the data that Cambridge Analytica had, it could probably fit on one server rack , whereas the NSA has thousands of servers, which scoop up the world’s data as almost 90% of it goes through the US . The NSA on a daily basis can target around 1,826 petabytes of information per day. A senior intelligence official said, “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.” Facebook shouldn’t be treated as a mere social media company it should be treated as data collector, which gives it a strategic edge over everyone else for advertising. Much like the NSA that gives America the strategic edge over every nation for the sole purpose of protecting US interests at home and abroad.
 1 persons data on average will be around 60MB, 60MB multiplied by 50,000,000 people equals 3 petabytes (decimal)