PRIVACY ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

Maintaining privacy in an increasingly globalized milieu as the internet, is not a very easy task to perform and in the other hand we have that social networks have been basically the latest innovation, which has affected more directly to users in this aspect (invasion of privacy).

Nowadays, one of the biggest issues that we found in the use of social media is the invasion of privacy in their users, which are increasingly uncomfortable with the level of access that all social network companies have to their information.

As with any other aspect of the security and protection of private information, is very important that the social media companies work on the development of new security protocols with the objective of protecting private information of their customers.However, most  users of  most famous social networks such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc., are not aware about the risk that takes upload private information in these sites and in the other hand they become vulnerable to any theft of information. In this sense, is very important to work to raise awareness in all users and customers  about the dangers they face when using social networks.

¿Why is so important to think about our privacy?

This question you have always to keep  in  mind, when you want to open an account in any social network and share your personal information, because after that you will be exposed in the web. While most of the users think in share information of their private life and socialize within social networks, their information may be being used by other people with bad purposes.

But some users exhibitionism has no limits, and the next level as far as exposure is concerned personal data came with the addition of Geo-location in social networks.With the boom of these networks in the new generation mobiles (iPhone, Android …) offers users the ability to display the social network the exact geographical point where they are at all times thanks to the GPS technology included on this type of mobile devices. Sometimes the parameters that control the activity in these applications are not very clear, and if you do not want to be tracked by satellites that fly over our heads, and that location is used with purpose not authorized by us, we must control these parameters to ensure that this does not take place, or control with whom we share so much information.

As an illustration of the problems that this technology can bring, imagine accepting a friend request from someone you do not know personally, if we don´t have properly configured privacy options in our profile and we are active users of the social network, that user could access all  our movements and find out when we are in each location.Every instant message you sent through the mobile app, such as Facebook Messenger or others, could allow trace your current location on a Bing map because they have a pushpin corresponding to precise location. For this reason, we can say that social media sites are renowned for privacy invasion (Bever, 2014).

However, technology makes our lives more practical and easier but it’s important to make sure we’re not allowing it to completely invade our privacy. For this reason it’s important to be very careful about the information we store on our devices (cell phones, laptop, tablet, etc.). In this sense, we can say that in certain situations it might be better to use other ways of storing information—such as in a personal safe or safe deposit box—to make sure it remains private (Myhre, 2013).

Thus, we can find out that the primary problem is that users of social nets have not been trained on how to oversee their accounts in a smart and safe form by the providers of these social nets and also encourage its users to understand thoroughly all the terms and conditions of their service.

In addition to the above, I believe all suppliers must inform its users  in a very objective, clear and open about the managing of their personal information. Should be provided easy and intelligible information about the impact of upload personal information on their profiles, security risks and possible legal access, as well as  improve some online form of training users in onlie privacy.

REFERENCES.

Bever, L. 2013. We want privacy from the government, but we’re an open book on social media.[online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/14/privacy-in-social-media-age [Accessed: 7 Mar 2014].

Myhre, J. 2013. Technology Is Invading Our Privacy. [online] Available at: http://www.dmnews.com/technology-is-invading-our-privacy/article/307471/ [Accessed: 7 Mar 2014].

Tnooz. 2014. Invasion of the privacy snatchers: How social media monitoring impacts consumer relationships [INFOGRAPHIC] – Tnooz. [online] Available at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/invasion-of-the-privacy-snatchers-how-social-media-monitoring-impacts-consumer-relationships-infographic/ [Accessed: 7 Mar 2014].

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One thought on “PRIVACY ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

  1. Thank You Alberto for your informative Blog Post. This issue should be considered current as I believe society has been “left in the dark” for too long about the consequences of actively being involved on Social Media. Your blog poses questions pertaining to how Social Media sites should be more transparent about how, ironically, transparent they are making US. I would like to clarify certain points mentioned in your Blog.

    Firstly, you have mentioned that “users are uncomfortable with the level of access.” Is this in reference to a study conducted? If so, where was this study conducted and how current is the study? As when Social Media first emerged people may have been resistant to the level of access whereas it could be now there are less people who are resistant. A comparative study would be interesting to assess. If the statement is justifiable then it raises the questions of why are they uncomfortable when they are the ones who are placing their private information online. They are participating. Yet does this mean they just because they placed their private information on line it should be made public, does being on SM imply transparency? And this should be known by the user – use at your own risk. As you mentioned in your blog “SM sites are renowned for privacy invasion” cited by Bever, 2014.
    For some perhaps they want to be in the public view. Did you make a reference to this when you stated “some user’s exhibitionism has no limits” by giving the example of apps which can show your geographic location? Or are you referring to SM itself that some have no limits in terms of the extent to which they invade privacy? As you did mention that there are GPS systems in place which can track users locations without the user knowing. Referring again to the app Geolocation which you mentioned you have stated that these apps are “not very clear” in terms of their “parameters”, that they do not mention on the app how “invasive” they will be. Thus as mentioned in my first statement SM sites should be more informative of their privacy settings.

    You have however mentioned that if we want certain elements to remain private we should use other means of storing our personal information such as “personal safes.” Yet what kind of information are you referring to if on SM it is intangible information yet normally in personal safes it is tangible.
    Overall I agree that SM sites for them to be “usable” for the privacy conscious should:
    1. Clearly state how much of their information will on public view
    2. Enhance Privacy Settings

    However even if SM sites do implement the above it does not necessarily mean that ones information will really remain completely private and confidential, It is still on the web, the CIA can for example if they have a lead on you access your supposed private information. Leading us to a disheartening question of how concerned should we be about our “right to privacy” (Warren & Brandeis, 1890)?

    Looking forward to your thoughts,

    Best Regards,
    Julia-Maria Harker-Mortlock

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