Connor Code

Facebook Logo

🧐 Social Media Privacy

This was for a school debat project about Social Media Privacy Laws.

Facebook Logo

So I am debating for the idea that we need Social Media Privacy Laws. For this presentation lets use Facebook as an example. They are the biggest social media company owning other big companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus VR.

Personal Information Collection​

So what personal information does Facebook collect? Here is a list of some data points Facebook collects. These may apply to any Facebook app as well as apps using Facebook APIs1 / SDKs2.

  • Private messages
  • Browsing history
  • Your Locations
  • Time and duration of usage
  • People, Accounts, Hashtags, Groups, and Pages you are connected to
  • Device Info including
    • Operating system
    • Hardware / software versions
    • Battery level
    • Signal strength
    • Available storage space
    • Browser type
    • Plugins
    • Device IDs
    • More

Personal Information Usage​

Although the information outlined above may not seam harmful there is a lot of it. When putting it all together Facebook can accuracy track you across different services, accounts and devices. They can even track you without any Facebook account.

Now that they know so much about you, what does Facebook actually do with this information? Well, one thing is sending you target advertisements.

“I don’t really worry about invasions of privacy because I don’t have anything to hide.”

This is a common viewpoint people have when digital privacy is brought up. We all know what happens in the bathroom, but you still close the door. That’s because you want privacy. When it comes to being tracked online it may not feel like as breach of privacy, but it is. Many of the CEOs of companies that track people including Mark Zuckerberg and Eric Schmidt say they don’t need privacy but also take steps to keep their lives private.

If that’s not bad enough Facebook has had some 10 data breaches in recent years leaking emails, phone numbers and passwords. This information can be used by anyone for whatever they want.

Stronger Privacy Laws​

If we had laws that stopped companies from all this tracking we would be a better society. People would be able to have a private life and not have to worry about companies and the government looking into everything they do.

For more information on privacy respecting services, check out Privacy Guides.

  1. Application Programming Interface

  2. Software Development Kit