Written by Privacy International on Privacy International.
“Feeling anxious? Got lucky last night? Having some health issues? Tell Maya and they’ll let Facebook and others know (oh, and they’ll share your diary too!)”
There is a reason why advertisers are so interested in your mood; understanding when a person is in a vulnerable state of mind means you can strategically target them. Knowing when a teenager is feeling low means an advertiser might try and sell them a food supplement that is supposed to make them feel strong and focused. Understanding people’s mood is an entry point for manipulating them. And that is all the more worrying in an age when Facebook is having so much impact on our democracies, as the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed. Indeed, it is not just advertisers that will want to know how we feel; as elections approach, political parties may want to know if we feel anxious, stressed or excited so that they can adapt their narratives accordingly.