This salience of this view is aided and abetted by a specific subset of tech giants who are not in the advertising business but possess a giant megaphone. However, this view is somewhat quizzical; advertising is more valuable if it is relevant to the recipient, and expensive to run social media services can only be free to the end user if there is a business model to support them.
It may be that such targeted advertising is just repugnant to users and thus untenable, requiring alternate business models to be discovered. But it may not be so. With respect to digital privacy on social media, I suggest that consumers should be less concerned with behavioral tracking for targeting advertising and instead be educated to be much more concerned with more serious but lesser-known risks:
• The means service providers employ to protect unauthorized access to end user stored profiles and history
• Verification and validation of the asserted identity of end users • Means to inhibit spam and other unwanted traffic
• The extent to which users’ feeds are unknowingly manipulated
• Digital redlining by information compositing
• The extent to which third parties harvest end users personally identifiable information by means such as deep packet inspection, honeypots, or other means of subterfuge
• Discoverability of content on in-platform and internet-wide searches
• The breaking of pseudo-anonymity
• What information can governments receive from social media companies via the third-party doctrine
For each of these risks, there are technology solutions, including some already deployed, some emerging technologies in development, and some technologies still being incubated in research. The presentation identifies some of these technologies and how they relate to lesser known risks above.
Samuel Harris Lipoff, 1 August 2022, "Technologies Around Lesser Known Privacy Risks in Social Media", IEEE International Symposium on Digital Privacy and Social Media, San Jose, CA, 1 August 2022, pre-record, https://attend.ieee.org/isdpsm-2022/