Protect your social media data if you don’t want to be manipulated

Protect your social media data if you don’t want to be manipulated
The Siliconreview
21 March, 2018

How is the information on the social network shared and with whom? Is the debate that is going on everywhere, in all platforms after the allegations that research firm Cambridge Analytica misused the data of 50 million Facebook users.

What brings advertisers to this platform, who bring Facebook, its majority of revenue? Yes, data.

Haven’t you seen those quizzes - offering to test your IQ or those which reveal your inner personality, or show you what you'd look like if you were a glamorous actor?

So, the information which you fill in those forms, any such Facebook quiz which is your digital life itself is the data that Cambridge Analytica is alleged to have used to harvest the data of millions of people.

Many such quizzes come with reassurances that your data is safe.

These games and quizzes are designed to tempt users in but they are often just a shop front for mass data collection - and one that Facebook's terms and conditions allow.

What can users do to protect their information?

  • Log in to Facebook and visit the App setting page
  • Click edit button under Apps, Web sites, and Plugins
  • Disable platform

This will mean that you won't be able to use third-party sites on Facebook and if that is a step too far; there is a way of limiting the personal information accessible by apps while still using them:

  • Log into Facebook's App settings page
  • Unclick every category you don't want the app to access, which includes a bio, birthday, family, religious views, if you are online, posts on your timeline, activities, and interests

There are some others pieces of advice too.

Paul Bernal, a lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law in the University Of East Anglia School Of Law, advises users not to click on a 'like' button on a product service page and he suggests users that if they want to play these games and quizzes, they better not log into Facebook but instead go directly to the site.

"Using Facebook Login is easy but doing so, grants the app's developer access to a range of information from their Facebook profiles," he added.