Tech wreck, the social media backlash

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DEAUVILLE, FRANCE - MAY 26, 2011 : Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Press conference at the summit G8/G20 about new technologies - Deauville, France on May 26 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in the data business. He has had this awareness, some say, since partnering with Sean Parker, cofounder of Napster in June 2004. It’s a simple business: Facebook users trade their personal information for the privilege of using Facebook.

So when Zuckerberg essentially told reporters Wednesday morning that Facebook users who turn on a particular setting should expect that their personal information will be scraped and their private messages scanned, it somehow makes sense in the wild, wild west of social media. We’re all figuring it out as we go, and ease of use often goes hand-in-hand with risk.

Until recently, the risks of being too-well-known associated with social media use was borne mostly by the users themselves. The spotlight seems to have turned, for the moment at least, to the tech companies. It’s been a bad three weeks for tech and it’s anyone’s guess what will still the current drumbeat of indignation.

What does the upheaval mean to apartment operators? This remains to be seen. Except that landlords usually get the short end of the stick of public opinion. The risks social media users take with their personal information are also benefits to prospective advertisers, like businesses with apartments to fill, looking for ROI for their ad dollar. Without data, neither Facebook nor any other social media site has any monetary value.

For now, it’s a game of wait and see.