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The shift in social media after Facebook data breaches

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There has been an apparent shift in attitude toward social media after the recent Facebook data breaches involving Cambridge Analytica; apps that fail to handle data securely; and software bugs leading to privacy violations.

This shift is said to be something of a “loss of faith” for some when it comes to social media as it feels like we have witnessed breach after breach in recent times, with many centred on the popular Facebook platform. People are becoming more aware of their vulnerability when it comes to their online presence, and the almost constant worry of things like Facebook data breaches is on many people’s minds.

According to recent study figures, more than half of people trust social media less now than they did last year; a quarter of people are spending less time on social media, which will no doubt frustrate the advertisers who have seen the true power social media offers; one-in-five of us are putting less data on social medial platforms; and more than 6% have removed their online social media profiles altogether.

These figures are huge, particularly in the context of the continually growing trends we have seen for social media in recent years, and the power the advertisers see in the platforms.

But when we have the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook data breaches scandals followed by the news that Kogan’s personality-quiz app, “myPersonality” quiz, reportedly nicked data for some three to four million Facebook users and had it stored in a poorly secured site, is it any wonder that Facebook has recently gone out of its way to apparently suspend 200 apps over possible data security concerns? So many apps and websites are plugged right into Facebook these days, and the “myPersonality” quiz incident, where the data of some 270,000 people was willingly provided for it but data was then taken from those people’s friends, means we have every right to be concerned.

Data taken in this Facebook data breach included age, gender and the relationship status of some 4.3 million people; personal and sensitive stuff that’s been taken without consent.

And then we had the recent privacy blunder where 14 million Facebook users’ privacy settings glitched, leading to their posts being more visible than they ought to have been. Most people restrict the visibility of their posts to only those on their friends list, but the software glitch apparently circumvented this vital security option between May 18 to May 27 when setting for posts were changed to automatically be public.

These high-profile data breaches, like the Equifax one we are represent victims for, continue to plague the news time and time again.

Does anyone care about these Facebook data breaches, though? With Cambridge Analytica’s CEO apparently making off with a staggering $8m before the business went down after the Facebook data breach scandal, are these data and privacy violations nothing more than water of a duck’s back to them?

To the victims, they’re huge, and the crimes of data protection breaches clearly need to be taken more seriously.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on June 13, 2018
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