Now that everything has technology woven into it in one way or another, it means that it’s easy to pry into the lives of other people. This can be done as easily as ‘stalking’ people’s Instagram feeds, or finding out where they are via Snapchat maps. But it can be far more serious in other cases.
In early 2018, up to 87 million Facebook users had their data wrongly shared to another company. And in 2011, a HealthNet privacy breach meant that the health information for nearly 2 million people was leaked. These are just a few of the major hacks we’ve heard of. But we keep hearing about new privacy scandals every other week to the point where it becomes normal.
The information that can be leaked by these events can lead to identity theft and fraud. Often, companies will mention data protection within the Terms and Conditions, but most don’t read them at all. If you don’t agree with them, you won’t be able to use the service.
After all of the Facebook scandals, 1 in 20 Brits deleted their facebook account, which leaves the question: did the other 19 in 20 decide that privacy wasn’t worth it?
If you choose to shun Facebook or other social media, you may lose access to support groups, friendship group chats, and might mean that you’re more disconnected from the rest of the world. This is the most popular reason as to why people decide that losing privacy is not as important as being more isolated.
What you can do.
In order to maintain privacy on social media, you can take steps to make your profile private. You can also ensure that only select people can view things that you put on Snapchat/ Instagram stories. In terms of saving your privacy from large companies, you can remove information that is not vital to run the account, e.g. gender, place of birth, school/job details. In more extreme cases, you can choose to delete your account completely.
As the world becomes more connected through the internet, we need to adapt to make sure that our private information stays private and to make sure that we don’t get taken advantage of by lone wolves or by huge corporations.