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Does Facebook know more about you than the CIA?

Blair Shiff

From where you go on vacation to what show you're watching, Facebook knows a great deal of data about us because we choose to share it with them. It may seem innocuous, but all that information is currently sitting in the hands of a few billionaires and there is very little oversight as to how they could use it. In fact, they're using it right now.

"This is the surveillance capitalism model that these companies have pushed, and so they are constantly manipulating you, and while it's not sinister right now, if they have some future goal at some future point, they know all this information and if [a product you use] gets you to vote a certain way, [Facebook] can use that," "The Creepy Line" director Matthew Taylor told Stuart Varney on FOX Business' "Varney & Co." on Monday.

Still not concerned by this? Varney mentioned how he doesn't mind Facebook knowing about how much Gatorade he drinks, for instance.

"Right now, it's not sinister, but for example, they're collecting data on you and one day you want car insurance and they want to see how much sugar you drink and if it's going to cause your insulin to spike, they might change your rates," Taylor said.

Taylor mentioned how it's these abstract connections between seemingly banal posts and the things that do matter that concern him.

A recent Wired article stated Facebook knows more about people than the CIA does, which is something Taylor agrees with.

"The CIA isn't looking for your daily activities; they're only looking for threats," Taylor said. "I would say they even know more about you than the NSA because you use Facebook all the time. Your children use it. You use it to do all sorts of things, and they collect all this information and they put it into a file. If you're not a threat, the CIA's not looking at you."

A new Netflix documentary will be released called "The Great Hack," and it covers the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. Taylor says while the documentary is good, he doesn't know why it came out now, instead of 2013, when the Obama campaign used Facebook data in a similar fashion.

"These things have been happening for the last six or seven years," Taylor said. "Cambridge Analytica is one company out of many that are still doing these activities. This is a business model and they just happen to be the ones who got caught. In one way, Cambridge Analytica getting caught brought Facebook and put them in the crosshairs of the public, the government, everyone else. Until that point, no one was looking at Facebook until Cambridge Analytica."

So is there any type of regulation that can stop Facebook in its tracks?

"It's possible, but I don't think fines will do it," Taylor said. "If CDA 230 was reversed and they were liable for what their users did like any media outlet ... that would change their business model because they could not afford to have that kind of liability with their users."

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This all may seem a little like Big Brother paranoia, but it's real-life now.

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