Before talking about social media platforms lets talk about us! how much data can we can collect through someone’s social media account? By searching someone’s Facebook account you can easily know their, date of birth, places they have visited recently, in which school or college they study, what kind of pages they follow, their favourite celebrity, and their relationship status. Similarly you can know about people by searching their Instagram profile, its a little difficult on Instagram as not everyone writes their date of birth in their bio, and neither everyone’s account is public. In reality, you can easily know about this information through social media but, not everyone is interested to acquire knowledge about you. But Social media platforms and browser especially Google and Facebook are interested to know everything about you, but the question is why? The answer is pretty simple to sell your data to advertisement agency, so they can show you ads according to your data or personal taste, interest, and also according to your budget. Facebook has your, phone number, location, knowledge of the phone you’re using, the sim you use, in which school or college you study in, your marital status, what kind of pages you like, with whom do you talk the most etc. To be precise then Facebook and Google know about you more than your parents and friends do. Facebook is least interested to read all of your chat and neither they have so much of time. Facebook just trace some keywords like buy, purchase etc. They will they show you ad of the thing you texted your friend about buying. After adding payment feature they also have your account number, and transaction history, which means knowledge about your source income, and thus show you ads according to your earning. Ads are just an example of how they can use your data; in recent time we have seen many examples of how this ads can manipulate your thoughts. Here’s a list of few more examples how data leak can affect you:-
Identity Theft –
To create any id proof your personal information like date of birth, phone number, location, full name, and a picture is required. Now after payment features are also available on social media platform, they also have a record to your account number, and transaction history. All this information if get leaks then can lead to someone pretending to be you, and doing some illegal activity. Someone can issue a credit card using your name or take loan, and this can be a serious issue.
If a thief gets your data, about where you live, your marital status, how many members are in your family, and your current location then it can be very easy for a burglar to break into your house. Burglary is just one example there are numerous possibilities of how someone can plan things against you using this data.
Ads are made in such a way that it convenient for you to buy the product its endorsing, and in the year 2016, a company named Cambridge Analytica made people fill a survey. The survey was a personality test, and to fill the form you have to login through Facebook. This lead to Cambridge Analytica having your Facebook data, and also of your friend. They had knowledge about your birth date, phone number, and most importantly your likes which can give them an overview of your likes, dislikes. Also, the react feature gave them a more brief knowledge about your personal taste. They used 87 million Americans’ data and showed them ads related to their interest, and personal taste in connection with Trump’s manifesto, this lead to Trump having a better image over Clinton. In the end, we can see the result, as Trump won the election, and also Cambridge analytics claim Trump won because of their help. This manipulation can be really dangerous as it can manipulate our ideologies, thoughts, and perception towards and individual or a group of individual.
The people you chat with are also not safe –
Maybe you can survive the risk of your data being leaked but what if someone else’s data is leaked because of you. For example your father texted you his net banking details or some sensitive documents like Aadhar card, Voter I’d. Now if your data is leaked then their is a chance that your father’s sensitive information might also get leaked, which can be dangerous. This can lead to fraud, identity theft, credit card scams etc. In the Cambridge Analytica survey only 200,000 people filled the survey but because they login through Facebook not only there’s but even there friends data could be accessed by Cambridge Analytica. This lead to 200,000 people filling the form but 87 million accessible data to Facebook.
Next time think twice before giving away your information to any application.