Facebook go through your personal conversations and read what you talk about with your friends and loved ones in order to garner more profits from targeted advertising. This may sound like something from George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” because it is like something from George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

Tech world relies on data-mining

One of the leading data-mining sites on the internet, Facebook has been examining the personal information in your profile, as well as the links you tend to click and the posts and articles you tend to read, and using their findings to target you with the posts they think you’ll find most interesting and therefore gain more clicks and in turn more money from the saps whose privacy they are grossly invading.

And it works a charm.

Data-mining is hugely popular in the tech world, as it can lead to very useful studies, like predicting the results of elections based on people’s posts and their accompanying hashtags, but this takes the cake. Dipping into people’s (formerly) private conversations is a new low for tech giant Facebook, which has 1.79 billion active monthly users.

Facebook COO and CEO respond

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief officer of operations at Facebook, says that the company’s goal in digging even deeper into people’s private lives is that “every time you open News Feed, every time you look at Facebook, you see something,” being sure to stipulate that the “something” she is referring to could be “from marketers” as that is the real goal here, making even more money from advertisers at the expense of every user’s privacy, because apparently the $8 billion a year isn’t enough.

Sandberg went on, “something that really delights you, that you are genuinely happy to see.”

And what does CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who got in trouble when he first created Facebook in college for using classified data, have to say about this? “Facebook historically has focused on friends and public content. Now, with Messenger and WhatsApp, we’re taking a couple of different approaches towards more private content as well.” So far, they’re reading everyone’s messages and the privacy settings don’t do squat to protect against that, so I’m not quite sure what he’s referring to.

This is all legal

And it’s all totally legal because they’ve announced that they do it and made that public knowledge and yet we all continue to use Facebook every day to post our locations to hundreds of potential assassins and write statuses no one cares about and remind us when people’s birthdays are.

So, make sure you don’t talk about anything incriminating or embarrassing or, well (see what I did there?), private on Facebook because a team of IT engineers are sitting in beanbags in a colourful office in Silicon Valley sipping non-fat caffe lattes and reading it.