Social media websites provide disclosures of personal information and how this information is collected and used by these websites. They are an online platform for communicating and share information with such as photos, videos, and messages. The popularity of social media has increased over the years, and the most used social media are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In all these social media websites the disclosure of personal information is mandatory before any service is given and produces the risks of a potential infringement of users privacy. Once your personal information is provided is stored indefinitely and could be used for any purposes.

In the US, as soon as you post information online, you are giving up control of it despite the terms and conditions of the services that these websites have. Most people do not seem aware that they are handling the power of their data to these companies. The worst part is that you have no legal rights to request your data to be deleted, changed or refuse the company to sell it. On the other hand in Europe, users have more rights based on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations that are in place.

An example of the Facebook privacy policy is an app called “Take this Lollipop” that it’s an interactive video that is generated based on your profile and that is because the user just clicked on the “Connect to Facebook” button. The video consists in a creepy person that login into Facebook and starts looking at your profile, photos, posts and even track down your location. There are a lot of videos regarding this app on YouTube. This app is an eye-opener and is an excellent way to understand how your personal information could be shared across applications without even a warning. Also, it is worth to mention that not all the companies are negatively using the data. Based on the information they can provide better and personalized services, but the issue is that you don’t know how they will use it in the long run and for what purpose.

References:

Goluchowski, J, Koohang, A and Paliszkiewicz, J (2018) Social media privacy concerns: trusting beliefs and risk beliefs. Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 118 Issue: 6, pp.1209-1228, https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-12-2017-0558

Choon, K, Jane, M (2018) Revisiting the Privacy Paradox on Social Media: An Analysis of Privacy Practices Associated with Facebook and Twitter. Canadian Journal of Communication. 2018, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p339-358. 20p.

Greenwald, G (2014) Why Privacy Matter. TED Talks. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters (Last Accessed: December 2018)

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