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!