Are you worried about the privacy of your Facebook account or your TikTok views? Well, you certainly are not part of a small minority of users. Menlo Park’s Facebook has been criticized for its privacy practices for quite some time and only recently did they submit to a settlement with the FTC and the Electronic Privacy and Information Center. Even though Facebook’s settlement did not constitute an admission of guilt, the social networking giant will be monitored very closely by privacy groups and must clearly disclose to users how personal information is shared.
While Facebook deserves much of the blame on the issue of privacy rights on its website, it should be noted that users have to share some of the blame themselves. Consider the vast membership of 800 million users. Many of these members will be “like” this, share this, join this, invite this or play this, and so on. When members choose to do a specific function on the site, they are asked permission to access your personal information, eg joining Mafia Wars, Farmville, or some other popular app.
Do members realize the consequences when they allow access to their personal information? My guess is that many of these 800 million members don’t have a clue or don’t care. So if these same members choose to allow their personal information to be accessed by third-party advertisers, who’re a fault here, Facebook or the member? Is it Facebook’s fault if a member’s account is hacked? Yes and no. While Facebook continues to do what it can to ensure from hackers infiltrating the system, there are countless threats to the website from ill-natured individuals all over the world.
What members really need to do is not just sit there and spend hours upon hours playing a game or posting this or that. Members can still have all that but they also need to spend just a little more time to ensure that their privacy settings are to their satisfaction.
Facebook’s settlement with the FTC was a godsend for many users but at the same time, third party advertisers continue to solicit personal information for the purpose of marketing their product. Furthermore, it is fair to assume more and more new third party advertisers will pay Facebook for the privilege of touting their product on the social networking platform.
If users continue to complain that their personal information is still an issue, they really need to stop and think about what applications, status updates, or other features they use on Facebook. If they stopped for a moment, they might realize that they are partly to blame.