The Kaleidoscope

Facebook Privacy Concerns

Mark+Zuckerberg+at+the+2015+F8+summit+in+California.+Photo+credit+to+Nbcnews.com.
Mark Zuckerberg at the 2015 F8 summit in California. Photo credit to Nbcnews.com.

Mark Zuckerberg at the 2015 F8 summit in California. Photo credit to Nbcnews.com.

Mark Zuckerberg at the 2015 F8 summit in California. Photo credit to Nbcnews.com.

Sophie West, Editor

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In 2006, two years after its invention, Facebook faced its first privacy controversy. The introduction of the News Feed upset many users, who were not pleased that every addition to their Facebook profile would be broadcast to all of their Facebook friends. Eventually the public relaxed, and as any Facebook user knows, the News Feed is still part of the Facebook experience. Since then, the controversies regarding this popular social media site have been anything but few and far between. From bugs that leak users’ personal information to 2014’s mood-manipulation experiment, the site may not be as safe as it tries to appear (Nbcnews.com).

 

Most recently, hackers used email addresses and phone numbers found on the Dark Web to find the corresponding users’ Facebook profiles. Once a user’s profile has been located, hackers can see where they live, where they work, and whatever other personal details that individual has chosen to share online. In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook declared that “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped.” Hackers have also been abusing the account recovery features, impersonating users who have forgotten their account information. Once a hacker has access to details such as an individual’s name, phone number, and email address, identity theft could become a concern (Washingtonpost.com).

 

Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement on his Facebook wall saying that Facebook will take steps to prevent similar incidents, including investigating apps that had access to user data before 2014 and limiting the amount of user data that apps can receive. Zuckerberg also said Facebook will create a tool that allows users to see and control which apps have access to their personal data. He admitted that “we . . . made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it” (Nbcnews.com).

 

While Facebook works on improving the site, concerned users may want to reexamine their privacy settings. Users can adjust their account settings so that their profile cannot be found when someone types their phone number or email address into a search engine. While social media sites such as Facebook hope to be user-safe and user-friendly, there are concerns associated with sharing personal information online and caution is always advised.

 

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Facebook Privacy Concerns