What that Facebook quiz never told you & what it took from you! (Your Data- $$$)

Social Samosa
Mar 22, 2018 14:15 IST
Facebook data

Saurabh Parmar, brand and business consultant / trainer, shared the grey of Facebook quizzes back in 2016. Shedding light on how the alleged data breach isn't an overnight event, Parmar shares his two cents.

It's surprising how a CEO of one of the big 5 never realized this was happening till recently. Ordinary folk like me were talking about data stealing from Facebook 2 years back ( check blog below ) and I am sure there were more informed among the global journalists community who had spoken earlier but the team at Facebook realized only now;  when there was a lot of attention from the media.
Using for political purposes may be new but has been done earlier for profit . Its surprising that it took Facebook more than a year or two to address this especially when people across the world including here in India have spoken about this earlier.
For the unacquainted, Parmar wrote the below blog in 2016 and it was first published here

Going by my Facebook newsfeed over the last 2 weeks I seem to have an extremely talented and popular friend list . What with the numerous Noble Peace prize winners ,multiple people who were or are in a relationship with Robert Downey Jr or Ryan Gosling & the many who are traveling to exotic destinations.

It certainly is an illustrious group & more of us seem to be adding the ‘same list of achievements’! All thanks to this app which is going viral on Facebook.


Have we stopped and wondered why has someone spent her or his time to create such an app and from the looks of it a few more 

Also Read: Easy steps to turn off the updated Facial Recognition on Facebook


  1. Because it gives them access to your data.
  2. Because your data could help companies target you better via ads & that is potentially a multi million dollar business
  3. And this is in the best case scenario- only if the data is used legally, never hacked into and the company does not get bought .

Because it gives them access to your data.

While accessing the app you will get this prompt.


Why would an app which is giving you random information need things beyond your public profile .Why does it even need your posts, list of your friends & even your photos(beyond profile pic) if it was not for their benefit?

Because data is a million dollar business

Remember Add This or Share This. The sites which allow you to share articles across the web. Well Add This was bought by Oracle in January for a figure around 150-200 million dollars & the value is not because they allow you to share articles but primarily because under the hood it's a data company. The Add This system is designed to scoop up data on web users and the sites they visit & that data could help companies target you better via ads.

Data+Advertising is a billion dollar opportunity & thus they want you to play those quizzes.

But perhaps your data is not really that safe

Unless you are quite concerned about your privacy, people taking your information & targeting you via ads, all the above may not a problem. Especially if it’s big corporates like Oracle or even Share This.

However things could get murky when you trust your data with lesser known institutions who by their own admission cannot always take 100% liability for your personal information (Read email id,pictures,friends,date of birth etc)

Sample a few lines from their own T&C & Privacy Policy:

“We make no claims or promises with respect to any third party, such as the businesses or advertisers listed within our Service.”

“Accordingly, we are not liable to you for any loss or damage that might arise from their actions or omissions, including, for example, if another user or business misuses your content, identity or personal information, or if you have a negative experience with one of the businesses or advertisers or their products listed or featured on the site.”

“Company> may….. also transfer Personal Information to a successor entity upon a merger, consolidation, change of control or other corporate reorganization in which (we) participate”

“As a result, while We strive to protect your Personal Information, We cannot ensure or warrant the security and privacy of your Personal Information or other content you transmit using company’s name>, and you do so at your own risk. Thus, we encourage you to exercise discretion regarding the Personal Information you choose to disclose.”

And the best of all:

“ company name> reserves the right to update this Privacy Policy from time to time, with or without notice. If so, we will post its updated Privacy Policy on its Website. We encourage you to review this Privacy Policy regularly for any changes….. If you do not cease using our services, you will be deemed to have accepted those modifications.”

So basically they can change their policy anytime which could potentially  give your personal information to anyone else and the only way you could stop is by going and reading their privacy policy at that time and then removing the access.

When was the last time we read a privacy policy and then went and re-read it?

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