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No such thing as privacy on social media

padlocked keyboard“We have literally no protection against the advancements of Internet and social media,” complains Diane O’Meara, the young woman whose photo was used to dupe Manti Te’o. Yes, you do, you foolish, foolish woman. Stay off social media. They don’t owe you any protection and they certainly can’t guarantee it. They are called “social” for a reason. You are your own protection. Your first line of defense is your own common sense. If you’ve any interest in your own privacy, you stay off social media.

4 thoughts on “No such thing as privacy on social media

  1. Now, I completely understand that, but…the other day, lo and behold, someone posted a picture of me on Facebook. I have only recently joined Facebook, and if I hadn’t, I would have never known he had posted it. No big deal, right? Until months later when I might find out it got used for who knows what.

    Yes, you are right, we control how much information we put up on social media about ourselves, but there is also the very real fact that everyone and their dog owns a convenient camera in their pocket now and uses it. I don’t know the particulars of the case you cite, but there’s also the possibility that she might have uploaded a profile picture to, say, LinkedIn – a professional network, of which I am a member.

    In my line of work, if I wasn’t on LinkedIn, it would seem very odd to my colleagues. Some might even call me a Luddite. Stupid, I know, but there it is: I’ve been peer-pressured to participate in social networks online. Shouldn’t I be entitled to some privacy or assurance that my data is protected in some way?

    (FYI – it was my running coach who put my picture up on our running Facebook group. I hadn’t given him permission. He’s gonna get an earful when next I see him.)

    1. In the above case, O’Meara’s problems started when she posted her picture on Facebook and My Space.

      There certainly are valid reasons for posting information on the Internet. But we are responsible for every word and picture we post and must be aware of the risks. Too many people post too much stuff willy nilly on social networks and then wonder why their information and pictures got misused by someone else.

      Yes, social networks are supposed to provide privacy and safeguards, but Facebook in particular is notorious for privacy violations and privacy procedures that are complicated, confusing, and constantly changing. They do share your personal information with their partners, so there’s no telling where your information will end up. As for LinkedIn, I’ve no personal experience. I know my son, an IT developer, considers it useless and a just way to show off how many contacts you have, rather like collecting “friends” on Facebook or followers on Twitter.

      I’d be all over anyone who posted my photo online, especially on Facebook with all its facial recognition technology, tagging, etc. Social networks’ entire reason for being is to collect, share, and disseminate information — your information. You’ll have to decide for yourself how much they value your privacy.

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