Facebook says its Tech will help, but it may harm


Facebook and other social media platforms are developing technology to assess your well-being based on what you post. But although Facebook and others promise to keep those assessments private, privacy advocates worry this information will probably get out -- even if it's illegal.

Dr. Nathan Carlin, an associate professor with the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at UT Health, says much of social media simply does good -- as during Hurricane Harvey.

"Whenever all the phone lines were jammed up people used different kinds of apps and social media to literally get rescued by neighbors."

But Dr. Carlin says if Facebook determines you're a suicide risk based on your posts and you go apply for a job, there's no guarantee the employer won't see that.

"Just because something's against the law doesn't mean insurance companies and employers won't do it, so that is a concern."

Dr. Carlin says to some extent the privacy ship has sailed and there's not much we can do.

"It's going to happen no matter what; companies are gonna collect different forms of data, no matter what."

Imagine this scenario: Facebook's algorithm to determine your well-being flags you as a suicide risk. Facebook promises this information will not be sold, but can you be sure that's not the reason you were turned down for a job?

It's a brave new world.


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