I guess most of you use facebook. If you do not use facebook than I will assume that you still are familiar with it… Facebook is a social platform built by Mark Zuckerberg in 2005.
The social media website is so popular now a days that almost 1.15 billion have an account on facebook and 700 million users use it on a daily basis.
Due to so much traffic generating to facebook servers, facebook has to make new policies and TOS (terms of conditions) from time to time. Facebook recently added new privacy system for all the user accounts that are on facebook. However, at the same time the social media site also launched a graph search that allows users to search for anything that they can get their hands on, on facebook.com
But I feel that Facebook Privacy system is going to be a failure. In addition, I have searched some points that are the basis of this feeling.
Why facebook Privacy is going to be a Failure?
1. 13 million don’t use facebook privacy – But do the other 87 million use it properly?
The reports published by Consumer Reports say that 13 million people do not use privacy settings at all. But The survey conducted by Consumer reports was just in America and it only surveyed around 5000 people and projected that data for total national users that is 150 million americans.
But that is not the main problem here, the main problem is those who are the other users of facebook (1billion – 13million), Do these people use facebook privacy settings properly?
2. Facebook privacy is Complex and Vague
Facebook Privacy setting is complex and not every user on facebook is tech savvy. Only small fractions of facebook users know about facebook options. Even people who have an account on facebook do not even know how to operate an account. These people are unlikely to setup a proper privacy for themselves even if they get their hands on the privacy menu. 20 crore people in Asia have a facebook account on facebook. Moreover, keeping in mind the literacy ratio in Asia most of these people are not even matriculated. However, Chinese do not use facebook who have the highest literacy rate according to UN in Asia.
3. Facebook Graph search interferes with Facebook Privacy
Facebook Graph search is a tool that lets one facebook user to search for content with in the facebook servers. The content is taken from other facebook users (as per TOS) and from their old posts, statuses and photos and videos. This tool is good if we look at it through a search engine perspective but this tool is directly interfering with the privacy of a facebook user. Because by the implementation of Facebook timeline most of the content is never removed even if the user turns his facebook privacy to the fullest and if he is a high time facebook user.
This facebook graph search not only exposes the facebook privacy but also allows stalkers to stalk them without trace.
4. Facebook Applications collect your data
Facebook Applications collect your data by your consent. These applications are also used by many minors. As per the reports, there are 5million or more facebook users who are under the age of 12. They do not know what privacy is and can allow facebook applications to collect their data unintentionally. This data can be used by the applications and is often made public for other facebook users who also use the same application.
These third party applications are one of the reason facebook privacy has failed.
5. Facebook sell you to advertisers
Every business say that it does not collect information and that is exactly what the facebook policy keeps saying. Nevertheless, we all know that is a big lie. Every information you seek on facebook platform like ‘the body building gym in your area’, The Facebook administration sell your information and interest to advertisers and that is why you see an ad on your screen the next moment it refreshes.
So, when a company itself is selling its users information to advertisers, how can that company says that the user of that company account holder is private and protected?
6. Facebook makes everything compulsory without user consent
You must have observed previously that facebook implements its policies on the social network without providing a choice to its users. I myself did not want the timeline on my account. But one day when I opened the account page my wall had already changed to timeline.
I know this point is not directly connected with the privacy issue of facebook. But this issue is really a pain for the users of facebook who like the classic look.
7. Facebook has 5 million underage users
Another ‘big’ reason why facebook privacy is going to fail is because Facebook is one social network that has more than 5 million users who are under the age of 13 years. Yes, even after the strict check and forum verification most of the users of facebook turnout to be under aged. This is one of the reason identity theft, child kidnapping and child abuse cases are rising due to social media. Most of the children on facebook don’t have privacy on their accounts. And because of this problem they are vulnerable to such criminal acts.
8. No option to opt out of ads
Facebook, Google and other digital giants are some of the companies that do not allow a means to opt out of ads. Other companies do not display ads on for some charges from their users. But with Google search engine and Facebook social network that option is not available yet.
These digital giants talk about privacy issues and their solutions. However, one of the biggest privacy leaks is by these companies themselves. They collect information from users like their preferences, tastes, likings and even hobbies and other habits and provide this data to ad companies.
So, how can you hope of privacy when the platform itself is involved?
Facebook is a platform that provides connectivity with others. Though, the platform has some flaws but that doesn’t mean we can stop using it. If we observe, almost everything has some flaws. What we should do is to check the points that I have highlighted in the article and implement them, or try to use them at least for awareness. Finally, it will be wise to say ‘Use facebook at your own risk’.