Is Social Media is a threat to privacy?

by ExpertBlogger 8. September 2018 14:51

Facebook is the largest social media website for bringing people on the same platform and help them share their lives with each other. Facebook is not just a platform but it has turned into a global phenomenon that has turned the world of networking by 360 degrees. The users of Facebook connect with each other socially, share their moments and events of life, their favorite things in life, their pictures etc. The users who subscribe for Facebook have been given privacy rights to secure their profiles and data from other users of Facebook not known to them and also if there is any information they want to share among the selected group of people and not with an entire list of friends. A user can safeguard his/her images to be downloaded or saved by others and also there is a block setting provided to each user in order to screen any other user that has been a trouble to an individual.

Despite all the privacy control that a user has been given by Facebook, the data that is stored at Facebook servers are the biggest threat to a user’s privacy. Facebook stores and harvest this data about people for various marketing searches. According to a legislation passed by US government on 23rd March 2018 all over the world the governments can use the “private online data” of the subscribers of Facebook for prosecution and investigation purposes, hence making data harvesting a legal act which can use by governments.

Using data from unconnected people and mapping the common factors from them for friend’s suggestion, a feature that has been added and it works based on the personal information that a user provides about himself through Facebook, makes the information provided by the user vulnerable for hackers. A person who has a Facebook account can be searched all over the applications like Google, Truecaller etc. Google search can be restricted now upon changing the privacy settings however the linkage of old data at Facebook servers still persists on Google. Facebook constantly asks you to provide your phone number for account retrieval process in case the user forgets his/her password. 

Then come the sales and marketing strategies that are now focused on those sets of people that have Facebook account and their activities through their online accounts may give myriads patterns of consumer behavioral statistics which are gathered from each user’s account without his/her information and used in market research by the businesses. Every click a user does is being captured by Facebook’s intuitive algorithms and are used by various organizations including the government agencies to keep a tap on everyone in the world who has the social network. The pictures, the statuses, and the various activities in the form of check-ins are prone to misuse by strangers and hackers. In the past before Facebook has given full access to the user to protect the account from everyone in the world the material posted by the users online was very much hackable and had led to crimes in the society. 

There are thousands of advertisements from all over the world that are posted on the Facebook and they keep flashing every now and then, if the user clicks on any one of the e-commerce websites and browse through few items listed there, however, don’t buy any, then those products would keep lingering onto your Facebook wall until you buy them. There is no transparency provided by Facebook to the use or misuse of an end user’s data. The ethical use of a person’s data is allowed but not selling of the information that he/she does not wants to share. A user’s personal data and the searches that are made by him/her are sold to various parties for growing their businesses and also to flourish Facebook’s business of creating virtual social networks and making the public believe that in the era of world wide web anything that is not online is something which not technologically savvy. So, people, in order to gain social acceptance in the society and to fall prey to this game of virtual networks, to create online accounts and then get addicted to the ways of it and gradually becoming the reason of the huge empire formed on the use of online data.