Event risk is inherent when investing in the stock market. Companies like Facebook have news stories published daily that will influence the direction of how shareholders feel about their stock. Will astute investors look at this 10% plus pullback as a buying opportunity? From a technical perspective, Facebook is at a pivotal support point right now.
Let’s look at recent events involving the ongoing saga of alleged improper data use associated with Facebook. What lies at the crux of the current problem is a group known as Cambridge Analytica, who is being questioned on their use of Facebook mined data that may have affected millions of Facebook users. It is interesting that Facebook is considering themselves the victim of these “data breach” events. It’s of interest that Facebook wags an accusatory tail at outside users of its data. Are we to believe that Facebook then safely tucks away our personal information into a special place where no one can hack it? One wonders at this point, is the public more skeptical of an Orwellian government, or a monolithic conglomerate that will possess information of use.
Is it politics as usual? One side yells foul when other FANG stock CEO’s like Eric Schmidt of Google uses his data mine to advise former President Obama on issues from healthcare to high tech. The shoe appears to be on the other foot now as Robert Mercer, the founder of Cambridge Analytica and a strong conservative donor, is doing the polar opposite in using his data to enable President Trump.
It has always been theorized that when the going gets tough, the American people will beg the government to protect them, and willfully give up basic constitutional rights. We have seen freedom of speech under attack in the first amendment, with all sides claiming they know what is right and what is wrong. The removal of the second amendment is playing out right in front of our eyes, as Americans, desperately longing for a solution to gun violence, are marching on Washington to gladly give up their rights to bear arms.
Facebook, its user base, and application developers are wondering if the right to privacy will continue to tip in the direction of those with the power to use this data, as opposed to those who are being used for this data. Does the average American care about her digital footprint, and the possible deleterious effects it may have on them. I doubt it. Americans are awash in social media, albeit tweets, texts, grams, or friends. It really isn’t a question of when the loss of sovereign privacy will be, it will just be a question of who is the biggest company in the data mining sandbox.
What else would you expect? Whether it is the United States or the European Union, politicians will point different fingers at different parties involved, usually with political capital to spend. In reality, does it really matter anyway? Which one of us “regular Joe’s” is going to be able to tell when our privacy has been swept away.