Facebook has been in the news lately for allowing information about millions of users to reach an outside data company who then used this data to target specific ads to consumers.

As a consumer, I want to know that my data is protected and safe. I would never want someone to have my credit card information or my social security number. Private information should remain private. However, this is not the type of data that Facebook has.

Allow me to explain…

Facebook knows my relationship status, if I’m looking for a new car or which presidential candidate I’m going to vote for. They know this because I told them or because I’ve given them enough information to make an informed decision about my choices and preferences. Every like, post and comment pads their databases with more knowledge about each of us.

To be clear, I volunteered this information. No one asked me for it. I gave it up willingly every time I decide that the world should know how I feel or what I eat. Yet somehow people are upset when they learn this data has been used to target ads specific to them.

Why?

You’re using a free platform to connect to hundreds/thousands of people you know (and likely others you don’t). You enjoy all the features Facebook gives you including photo sharing, live video, messaging and community groups at no cost. I bet you’d be outraged if Facebook started charging, right?

So why do we expect to use this powerful platform at no cost and then get upset when Facebook finds ways to monetize itself and stay in business?

I understand that people don’t like the idea that Facebook can “share” their information with outside companies like Cambridge Analytica, but we should be smart enough by now to not share anything that the whole world shouldn’t see.

To be clear, I believe Facebook should do more to safeguard it’s most valuable asset – People. However, I don’t approach social data the way I do my bank or credit card accounts. If Facebook or Cambridge Analytica wants to show me a Trump/Hillary ad instead of an ad for a movie or restaurant, so be it.

Facebook needs ads to keep their lights on. I have no objection to them using the information I voluntarily share on their platform to inform advertising decisions.

The main question here shouldn’t be how Facebook is using our data, but rather why we love to hate a platform that we volunteer to use? We need to learn to embrace targeted ads or open our wallets and replace ad dollars with subscription¬†fees.

Agree or disagree? Comment below.