To get you caught up on the story between Congress, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and Cambridge Analytica
For those of you who aren’t caught up yet on what’s going on with Facebook’s recent woopsie-daisy, here’s the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read):
- An independent app developer by the name of Kogan created a Facebook app
- This app allowed the developer to collect a shit load of information on users and their friends.
- Kogan sold the data he collected from millions of Facebook users and their friends to a research company called Cambridge Analytica.
- Cambridge Analytica dispersed the data it bought from Kogan
- Facebook told Cambridge Analytica to delete the data, and took their word for it without following up, and called it a closed case.
- Cambridge Analytica didn’t delete the data (surprise)
- Now Congress has been questioning Mark Zuckerberg on the topic of Privacy, and how new legislation can help protect user data, while getting Mr. Zuckerberg to be an advocate of new law.
So there it is, a bunch of (potentially) your data got leaked against your knowledge and Facebook didn’t tell you. This isn’t the first time that Facebook has been in a scandal that resembled this topic. Yet, we still use Facebook.
Let’s shift gears a little bit, focus on us
The point I want to get to is this, we can’t be holding these companies and third parties 100% accountable for the information they have. You have a choice. Your first choice is whether or not you’re going to use the platform at all. I personally, do not use Facebook. I don’t use Facebook for either my personal or business lives. I’ve had it in the past, and wasn’t impressed with how ads were served to me nor did I feel the platform was all that useful for me. But that’s just me.
On the other hand, a lot of people find great use out of the product and I see why. Staying in touch with loved ones, sharing moments with those loved ones, etc. Whatever your use for it, I’m sure you find it useful in some way.
Share only the data that you want to
What a lot of people don’t understand is that, most of these social platforms that you sign up for an account with, you’re entering an agreement where they tell you exactly what information they record about you, and your obligations to them. Thing is, no one is telling you that you need to use it. This is a personal choice that you make.
Checking that box that you agree to the terms, says that you’re OK with the terms and will abide to them. If you don’t like the terms, you don’t get an account. Pretty simple. I knew this when I sign up for accounts all of the time. It’s really up to you on what you’re willing to put out there.
You can also choose how you want to share content on Facebook or just about anywhere else. For example, next time you go to make a new post on Facebook, at the bottom of the post is a section to tell Facebook with whom you share that post with. This governs who is able to see this information.
To close up here, basically what I’m trying to tell you is take a moment for yourself and go review the accounts you’re signed up with. Think internally for a moment about who, where and how you share information online. This is a risk we all take every day as we browse the Internet. Whether or not you sign up for an account on a platform is totally up to you…