How much these social media platforms know about you?

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April 12, 2018
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The Facebook’s scandal involved the data breach of over 80 million accounts as their data was harvested for political purposes. This has raised a lot of questions about how much do these social media platforms know about. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook has been testifying before the US Congress regarding this Facebook fiasco.

Facebook has more than two billion users. The company has access to everything you do on the site from the photos along with the videos you post, your likes, your comments, anything you share or consult, the identity of your friends as well as any other users you interact with, your location and other information.

The same thing goes for WhatsApp as well as Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook. Snapchat and Twitter also have the same amount of access to your information. Though a user can control some sharing of their Facebook data with the ad preferences page as well privacy settings.

Facebook says that it does not sell advertisers personally identifiable information or even use the data for personal gain. The company says that it provides an advertiser with is the ability to reach a specific demographic, which enhances the effectiveness of an ad campaign. On the other hand, Twitter provides access to an internal search engine that sweeps up all messages on the website.

Most of the social media platforms are open to outside developers such as third-party applications. They create apps fed in varying degrees by using data from users of these networks. In Facebook’s case, the public profile of the user, the whole page for some people, or just the first and last name and photo for others. It does not require authorization from the user, but accessing the rest may require a separate OK from the user, which many apps are now asking the user.

According to experts,
“Once people had access to that data, Facebook has no way of knowing for sure what they did with that data, it’s like sending an email to somebody and then saying,’What did they do with that email?’”

Hence once the data is mined by outside apps, it is no longer in the grasp of Facebook and trying to get hold of it again is difficult. Only bank and payment details held by Facebook are off-limits to developers.

There are practically no laws against the use of data from social media around the world. Some countries such as Canada and Europe, they limit the use of data, mainly involving health. Facebook was previously fined 110 million euros ($135.7 million) by the European Commission for sharing personal data with WhatsApp in 2017.

Do you feel safe using these platforms? Let Facebook and TechJuice know in the comments below.

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