OPL Digital Safety Team
If you’ve been reading the news in the past couple of weeks, chances are that you’ve heard of the Cambridge Analytica Files scandal and information in 50+ million Facebook profiles that were used to influence political elections. We’ve written about data breaches and how to recover from identity theft when Equifax was hacked back in September 2017, but this was not a data breach. If it’s not a data breach or “leak,” then what is it?
Turns out, the scandal isn't because Facebook did anything illegal but because it was legally able to sell or share your information to third parties (businesses outside of you or Facebook) at the time, whether you explicitly gave it the permission to or not. Their policies have since responded to the public outcry but it doesn’t change the fact that we are all vulnerable to a platform or service when we use our personal information. It’s important to keep in mind that, no matter how much we love these apps, social media and other free tools have business models built off of harvesting our data for marketing purposes. Because these platforms have successfully captured such comprehensive profiles of its users, it has become much easier to market services, products, and political views to anyone online.
What can you do to protect your data? Here are some suggestions:
- Opt-out of Facebook API sharing
- Control What other people see on Facebook
- Block Facebook tracking with Privacy Badger
- Download A Copy Of Your Facebook Data
- Learn about and find the data Google & Facebook has on you
- Delete Facebook and look for alternative social media platforms
Learn more about the issue here: What the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Means for Facebook Users