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“Trust crisis” looms over tech industry as public grows weary of privacy scandals

It’s a bad time to be an internet user. Despite the many technological advancements that have made it possible for more people to get online and connect with each other, along with all of the many online services that can be enjoyed by almost anyone by doing nothing more than simply tapping a few buttons, actual internet use can be quite unpleasant. The reason for this? Some of the biggest websites on the planet are involved, in one way or another, in the biggest privacy scandal of all time.

Yes, the internet is huge and practically limitless, and there are many things you can do to avoid being affected by this privacy scandal. But it has come to a point where being careful to not be personally affected is no longer enough. As the details of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica saga has revealed, your personal information could have been compromised no matter how careful you are. Facebook itself already tracks people even if they don’t have actual Facebook accounts. And if you keep that in mind, the idea of people losing their privacy through the platform – even if they didn’t do anything to deserve it – doesn’t seem so surprising after all.

As a result of all this commotion, the general public has become wary of Facebook and its ilk. And at least one expert warns that it will take a major effort to turn things back around, if that’s even possible at all at this point.

According to Chris Riddell, a futurist who took part in Credit Suisse’s most recent annual Asian Investment Conference, big brands will now have to re-establish trust with consumers when it comes to matters of data safety. In his view, the world is currently going through a severe “trust crisis,” and the tech companies only have themselves to blame. (Related: Facebook has a file on you: Even if you don’t have an account, if you’re online, they track you through third-party activity.)

In a statement issued online through, Riddell pointed out people’s views on data sharing nowadays. “People now are more willing to share data than ever before,” he said. However, there fact that data breaches have been happening at major companies have ended up breaking the “trust and confidence” that people had in today’s most prominent platforms.

“We’re in an era of category killers,” Riddell added, “where one organization is dominating in an industry.” He pointed to Facebook and Google as prime examples of companies that have neglected to watch over the data of their users more carefully and prevent the latest privacy breaches from happening.

Facebook’s privacy issues are well-known; they routinely do things that their users never consented to, and they retain user data even when instructed to delete them for good. As for Google, it tracks its own users heavily as well, and through its online services like YouTube, enforces rather draconian laws that are so bad that they might as well be considered censorship. In fact, that’s what many people call them already: Content creators like Diamond and Silk, can do nothing as YouTube outright censors their channel because of seemingly arbitrary rules that they can’t even protest.

While these issues are happening, the sites that are responsible for the egregious privacy violations that millions of users suffer continue to operate and rake in massive profits on a daily basis. Perhaps the only real way of stopping them now is if this crisis becomes prolonged and results in people leaving the sites en masse. Until then, the privacy violations will keep happening, and people will just keep on scrolling.

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