The Information You Provide

by Alec Bantel Alec Bantel | Nov 14, 2020 4:47:15 PM

The Information You Provide


Today we're going to discuss the information that you provide in the social media dilemma. What we need to look at now is how we provide information on social media and the impact that it has and to things that we may not notice. So things are changing. So if a stranger walked up to you in the street and asked you where you lived, what you had for dinner, and who your friends were, would you tell them that information? It's probably very unlikely but with social media the information is readily available by anybody who's interested. Not just not to mention that this information is also being harvested by politicians, big corporations, and anybody who may have interest in being able to either sell you something or have information about your habits.

With the generation of smart homes that have come out recently, you may find yourself talking and an ad will soon appear on either your device or on your internet. Google homes, Siri and Alexa all household names that weren't around a few years ago, now have become more and more popular with one in four Americans own one within their home. With that number continuing to grow over the next few years. Google and Amazon have both already admitted to recording conversations and to using some of that information. Amazon also has employees that they've admitted that listen in on conversations.  Amazon and Google Home as well also have

listen out all the time rather than only listening when you call for Alexa. So it is always on and is always listening to all of your conversations. Apple contractors as well with their Siri platform regularly say they hear confidential details on Siri and Facebook also admits to listening to recording and audio messages.

The question now is it legal. Today, there are no comprehensive laws when it comes to regulating social media in the United States. A lot of the policies that social media companies have you agree to are very vague and do not clearly disclose on what information they are capturing and what do they do with that information. In 2019, California passed the California protection consumer privacy act which give consumers more information and more control over what companies can do and what they can collect with your information. Now the question is, is it moral. At some point social media companies have been quietly changing her identities and how we see the world see the world and one another. Surveillance is no longer limited to certain or predefined space and location and can happen anywhere. Companies also may monitor employees creating blurred lines with the boundaries between public, private, and corporate issues.

A case study happened during the 2016 election when Cambridge Analytica took information that supported republican candidate Donald Trump.
Cambridge Analytica was found to have played a pivotal role in making Donald Trump become the 45th president of the United States. One question was how would he be able to accomplish such an upset and this defeat. Investigation revealed that the Trump campaign had partnered with the firm Cambridge Analytica to market political advertisements through data collected through what Facebook called their open graph platform. The information was then used to target and use specific messaging for voters through constructed advertisements that highlighted the corruption of Hillary Clinton and propped Trump up as a better candidate for the presidency. This information was not known to the American public and was used to be able to spread messaging that may or may not been true but was very impactful in turning the tide into 2016 election and electing Donald Trump as the 45th president.

So the question is how do we move forward. The key is to know what you're sharing and what apps you're using. Always be careful what you share. If somebody came up to your street and asked you something you did not know that person why would you be putting that same information available on social media platform for anybody to have access or for anybody to use. Make sure you're using a lot of tools that are available to you such as password managers two-factor identify authentication as well as other tools that may be able to protect you from anybody signing into any of your accounts and taking information that you do not want to have or that that you deem as private. You should also make sure you hold social medias accountable for what they're sharing and what information they're using. Where are they taking that, what data do they have on you, as well as who are they selling that data to this can also be done with applications. So if you're downloading an app you may think it's a harmless app but it may be scrubbing and looking through all of your contacts to see who your friends are,
who they might be able to also send messages to or market to be able to use that ad. As well as advocate for privacy laws such as the social media privacy and protection consumer rights act a bill called SB189 is currently in the congress but has not moved forward. That bill requires all online platform operators to inform a user prior to creating a an account or otherwise using the platform that the user's personal data is protected during online behavior and will be collected and used by the operator and third parties. The operator must also provide a user with an option to specify privacy preferences and an operator may deny certain services or complete access to user if the user's privacy elects to create an operability of the platform. As well as to hold the people who are making the software such as Apple, Google and Windows on Microsoft as well because they also have the ability to force these rules onto the people who want to use their platform for their software. So by making sure that they're advocates of your privacy and you hold them accountable for that to use their platform they will then go downstream to ensure that their partners and their software providers as well adhere to these rules. With that, the key is just to make sure that you are being safe and you are only sharing information that you want and you are willingly knowing to be shared. Thank you for your time and make sure you're careful out there.

Created by Alec Bantel:

Subscribe Now

Additional Reading