What Facebook Knows

More than you think…

I’m amused at the paranoia expressed in the current PRISM national security case, so many worried that the national goverment is perusing emails and cell phone calls. Perhaps Im naive.

I wonder if those who become apoplectic at Big Brother government worry about the same level — or perhaps more — of knowledge of our activities and locations by companies, such as Facebook and Google?

Since last fall, Facebook has also been able to collect data on users’ online lives beyond its borders  automatically; in certain apps or websites, when users listen to a song or read a news article, the information is passed along to Facebook, even if no one clicks ‘Like.’ Within the feature‘s first five months, Facebook catalogued more than five billion instances of people listening to songs online.” 

The quote is from the MIT Technology Review and you can read the entire article HERE.

I’m not big on either paranoia or conspiracy theories. If the government wants to listen to my phone calls or read my emails, I’ll be happy to transcribe them, for a fee. Hey, it’ll be cheaper than what they wre paying that high school drop-out who sold them to The Guardian.

It led me to think that the only big data in Radio lies with the Arbitron vaults, and — typically — even though individual radio stations pay an absolute fortune to get their tiny sliver of that immense data trove for their market, radio as a whole can make very little use of the big picture it pays to collect.

Isn’t it time to s***-can Arbitron?

Does Apple pay some outside company exorbitant sums of money to track how many songs and apps it sells on iTunes?
Does Google pay an outside entity billions of dollars to make certain it is accurately measuring click-throughs?

I don’t think so.

So why don’t the NAB and the RAB combine forces and create a new ratings service that all commercial and public radio stations fees support. The goal would be collecting bigger data than we now collect with the aim of better serving the advertisers who support our business, but the insights we would learn from listeners would help make the product better in every format and every city.

And it would be a lot more affordable, and a lot more reliable.