Cambridge Analytica is a political consulting firm that made headlines days ago because of its links to the U.S. presidential campaign back in 2016. According to the reports, the company allegedly illegally and unethically harvested information of Facebook profiles belonging to millions of American users and utilized the data to create a major political advantage in favor of Donald Trump. According to investment firm LOM Financial, tech stocks went on a sell-off following the incident.
Although the highlight of the case was mostly American Internet users, it created a whole wave of criticisms and alarming questions about Facebook’s privacy policies and how users felt unsafe and violated. After days of silence, the social media’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, admitted that there were indeed policies that allowed the misuse of the public’s data, acknowledging that the company failed their community’s trust.
Lessons will be learned, added by the CEO, but as an individual user of Facebook and other social networking platforms, or even as a policy-maker in a country where SNS are widely used, what are the takeaways from this breach?
Most experts believe that traditional frameworks should be redefined especially when it comes to the principles of privacy and sharing of information. This is because the root of the crisis can be traced back to Facebook’s policies that gave permission to the developers of third-party applications to freely access a user’s personal data since 2007. It was only in 2014 when the company decided to reduce this volume but It was already too late.
For individual users of any social networking sites, remedies can be as easy as disconnecting their private profiles to unnecessary and unused online applications that may have access to the information that they post online. It also goes without saying that carefully choosing which third-party program to give your data to should be a preventive measure.
While these steps can relatively protect you from future hacks, some users believe that completely deleting themselves from the networking site is the ultimate solution. What do you think?