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Facebook Phone May be a Smart Move
By: Jessica Cherok
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Facebook has a phone now. Should we all be concerned that this means the end of personal privacy as we know it? Well, yes. But only as much as Google Glass meant it, too.

Because ultimately — just as with Google Glass — we’re all looking around at each other wondering who in their right mind would even want such a thing.

Most likely it’ll be the nerdiest of our friends who opt for a Facebook phone, at least in the beginning. They’re the same ones who know about apps while still in beta, camp out overnight for the newest Apple product, and hack their Chromebook just because. These are the people we expect to be into the Facebook phone.

Except today, I received the most unexpected surprise — my mom asked me if I thought it would be a good idea for her to have the Facebook phone. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it’s a good idea for my mom to use Facebook, or most of the Internet even. But the Facebook phone?

“No, Mom. The Facebook phone is stupid.”

“Yes, but so is that Google eyeglass thing. At least this is in my purse and not on my face.”

It was at that moment I realized Facebook had (yet another) evil genius idea. My mom would never wear Google Glass. Hell, I might never really want to wear Google Glass, even if Warby Parker performs a fashion miracle on it. There are just too many doubts about why would I need it to overtake the reasons I may want it.

But the Facebook phone is the opposite. Its reasons for wanting it outnumber doubts. It’s not some thing on our faces. It’s a phone. We’ve had a million phones over the last couple of decades. Phones are non-threatening. They’re easy and familiar.

The Facebook phone is no where near what Google Glass is, but it didn’t have to be. It just needed to be less intimidating, less foreign. It needed to insert itself in the pause we were having over whether or not we needed to go for Google Glass.

If Google’s intention with Google Glass was to make the world Google-ier, then Facebook’s intention with Facebook Home is to make the world Facebook-ier.

Oh, and back to what this means for your privacy — if Facebook was already collecting unprecedented amounts of data about us before it had a phone constantly integrated with our lives, imagine what kind of information it’ll be able to get now.

   

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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