Connecting the World: Privacy Violations and the Harm Principle in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal
In the spring of 2018, the data company Cambridge Analytica was accused of having leaked and abused the Facebook user data of tens of millions of people against their will. This data was used to influence elections around the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom. In order to determine if users were harmed by this data leak, John Stuart Mill’s harm principle can serve as a threshold determination, but it must be placed in the proper context in order to do so. The Facebook scandal needs to be positioned in the history of privacy in the United States to determine its place in the debate, how Facebook is dealing with the subject, and what predictions can be made for the future. Furthermore, the future of social studies must be considered in the context of using user data from Facebook, as issues with research data from this social network have occurred several times in the past.
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