87 million people affected- Facebook privacy scandal widens

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If you haven’t been living under a rock since the past few weeks, chances are that you would be familiar with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the heat that Facebook is taking because of the revelations in the light of the scandal.

An estimated 87 million people across the globe have been affected by this privacy breach including the CEO of Facebook. Even though Facebook might be in the centre of the most important privacy breach scandal, other social media platforms are also under close scrutiny because of the abundance of information that they collect. In fact, Google actually collects more data than Facebook for the same reason- better-targeted ads.

 

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It is scary to imagine the quantum of information these websites know about us. Dylan Curran, a web developer and technical consultant went ahead to affirm our fears by sharing a thread of tweets, with the first one being- “Want to freak yourself out? I’m gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realizing it.”

Then he further tweeted the methods and links as to how these websites have an access to your personal information. Isn’t it creepy how Google has your exact location all the time and actually creates an advertising profile with our age, gender, hobbies, career and even our target weight for that matter!

He even dashed ahead to say that if he were to die in the next few months, it wouldn’t be an accident! What is funny is that in this modern age we are so apprehensive about things and would never let camera or microphones to be installed in our houses or attach location trackers on us and yet we somehow went ahead and did it for ourselves!

Last month, the first lawsuit under Cambridge Analytical Scandal was filed against Facebook for breach of privacy. Cambridge Analytica, directly or via a Cambridge professor took paid ads on Facebook, presented users with what was claimed to be a personality quiz, then used the data to help Trump’s election campaign.

It is speculated that Facebook got to know about this two years back but failed to take adequate steps to stop it. This scandal has hampered the company as well as its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s value.

Here’s what the creator of Facebook said:

 

Since the scandal came to light, social media network lost 80 billion dollars in the stock market value. Zuckerberg has personally lost approximately 14 billion dollars, which has even brought his net worth down! Zuckerberg owned up for his mistake and apologized to Congress for not doing enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm.

 

What Facebook would do next to keep its image from tarnishing further remains a question but the people can get back their data and protect it further on by the facilities provided by Facebook.

Another incident which came up recently Vevo’s YouTube channel getting hacked and targeting the most watched video, ‘Despacito’ has led to further questions. In the light of the current realities and incidents, it is difficult to look beyond the unimaginable possibilities of missing of the data.

It is quite scary to realise that everything you post, type, capture or even the number of footsteps you take in a day are getting recorded. Even with the proliferation of technology including high-level cyber security is not enough to stop hackers from breaching your data.  Should the government take steps against these applications? Should the so-called social apps allowed to your personal information?

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