We like our privacy in the UK. We build walls, fences and hedges around our homes. We pull our curtains tight shut at night; some will even go so far as to not answer their phones after a certain hour in the evening. We even have a saying – high fences make good neighbours. However – we appear quite happy for the world to potentially see us in our bathing suits, or for our ideas, thoughts and responses to be used to influence political campaigns. Where is the privacy now? And it’s not just the UK – if you use social media, wherever you live on planet Earth, someone, somewhere is pawing through your personal stuff!
BBC Radio, this morning, ran an article about the possibility that Facebook is selling your data to third parties. There are concerns about sharing data that goes beyond what is acceptable – what is acceptable may differ from country to country, person to person. It’s a minefield.
We have heard many tales about people; families, holidaying in foreign parts and discovering a photograph of themselves in shop fronts. It could be argued that when you sign up for Facebook, or other social media sites, that you agree to all their terms and conditions – but who really takes time to read the small print, honestly?
Cambridge_Analytica is a London based company that serves businesses and political parties who want to change audience behaviour and it is your data that they have apparently been using to assist with their analyses.
Who hasn’t done a quiz, or questionnaire, or similar on social media? I know I have – whether to actually find something out about yourself, or for pure vanity, is neither here nor there. One quiz platform – ‘This is Your Quizzical Life’, agreed to hand over your data. You gave your consent – did you know that?
One of the questions being asked is – Did it use your Facebook data in the Trump campaign? Investigators believe they have given misleading information to social media users, and that tighter regulation is called for. Simply put – are you being exploited? Investigators are seeking to conduct a data audit,part of that investigation will pose the question – What is Facebook’s integrity?
How do you safeguard your information? Who, exactly, do they share your data with? Data Protection in the UK is pretty strong; so we are told. How secure are platforms like Facebook in actuality? I know I have posed questions and given no answers, but that’s the issue – how exactly do we deal with protecting personal data; including family photos, whilst at the same time, sharing with friends and colleagues? And it isn’t just your information, but all those connected with you through social media; friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances; that bloke across the other side of the world – if everyone doesn’t act to protect themselves, then the door, so to speak, is still open for the users.
We could all go down the draconian route, and delete all our social media accounts; not give these, let’s face it – huge – companies the opportunity to profit from our personal lives. But that ain’t going to happen. Or, we could do what Nicholas Waddell suggests in his article on The Sociable, and sell it yourself – you make the money instead of the companies!
In the meantime I would suggest – 1. Do not post any pictures at all. 2. Do not do any quizzes. 3. Do not share your political opinions.
But do remember – Your business, is their Business!
2 thoughts on “Is Facebook Selling Your Data?”
Hi Alexandra, I recently found out that Google+ Twitter and Tumblr have sold access to my data. Some of my photos and posts started appearing in Google search results with the label Compute.info. At first, I thought this new site was another rogue site scraping content to move up the search engine rankings until the admitted to me in an email….
“We are an authorized 3rd party Google+ web app. What you see is
provided to us directly by Google+ APIs. If you don’t wish you content
to be displayed on 3rd party or official web and mobile apps, you need
to change your privacy settings to private. Per our agreement with
Google, we don’t store user data, so there is nothing for us to
remove; however, I can offer to put a hardcoded filter so if/when the
API provides us content by your handle, our system would just drop it.”
You can read my brief G+ post on the issue here https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KevinAshton_Chef/posts/dV1p9CiAgoB
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Thank you first for reading my blog. Secondly, for Following – it isn’t always as thrilling as this post!!!
Thirdly – thank you so much for sharing your experience with Google+, Twitter et al. I have noticed a peculiar thing myself recently in regards to Twitter. There are adverts – for cars primarily – popping up on my Twitter thread that I have not written, but look as though I have! I am not sure how or why this is happening (more research to be done).
Kevin, would you mind if I quoted you in an update of my post? I usually write twice a week – Tuesdays and Fridays – and I will put a link to your Google+ page (if you want), I do not think many people are aware that more than just Facebook is involved in this; I certainly didn’t.
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