In an opinion piece in The Guardian, Richards Stallman shares his view on the latest Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal. He is definitely in a position to say “I told you so”, and both he and everybody else know, so instead he repeats his message in his usual to-the-point clear-cut language:

The surveillance imposed on us today far exceeds that of the Soviet Union. For freedom and democracy’s sake, we need to eliminate most of it. There are so many ways to use data to hurt people that the only safe database is the one that was never collected. [...] I propose a law to stop systems from collecting personal data.

The “don’t record it – don’t collect it” will be the mantra of the new privacy-conscious tech generation. The publish-everything fad is over. Delete is the new black. Ephemeral is the new gray. Hopefully.

On the state and state security and absolute surveillance vs. its people, he continues:

An unjust state is more dangerous than terrorism, and too much security encourages an unjust state.

A surveillance state is probably more than unjust, it most likely turns absolutist and totalitarian, like we see in Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China. Reverting that trend will take more than changing fashions in social networks.