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Facebook Sees All and Knows All

By Ryan Hackland

To most people “Big Brother” is a topic of science fiction. Eagle Eye and Person of Interest are both exaggerations of American society after the implementation of the Patriot Act. Though the methods of information gathering in the movies are exaggerated it is no mystery that the data we send out and take in is being constantly monitored, especially on social media.  The most ridiculous part of this is that we are the ones to blame. Is Facebook the new Big Brother?

In 2004, Mark Zuckerburg created Facebook to allow individuals to network more efficiently with friends, family, and other acquaintances; However, with most people ignoring the terms and conditions page and simply clicking “I agree”, what they are really doing is selling their souls to the devil.  One might ask how such a useful tool can be so damaging to ones sense of security. To answer that question we would have to start from the beginning.

In 2005, Facebook’s first ever privacy policy stated that your information would only be shared with people in at least one social circle indicated in your privacy settings.  Two years later the National Security Agency (NSA) launched a surveillance program called PRISM with the intent to finish what the Information Awareness Office started In 2002; gathering as much information as possible about everyone in a centralized location to allow further scrutiny by the United States government. This involved the cooperation of nine social media companies, including Facebook.

Despite allegations about its invasion of user privacy and selling user data to corporations through “likes” and a pulse feature (discontinued in 2007), Facebook claims that the users have the capability to determine whether or not their friends, family, or employers, can see content they submit by adjusting their default settings . In other words, the users themselves are responsible for what gets shared and what doesn’t.  But is this entirely true?

In 2010, Facebook changed its privacy policy regarding default settings for its users without telling anyone. As a result, user information that was once only available to friends and family became visible to all users. In 2012, Facebook handed over 18-19,000 users private data to the National Security Agency (NSA). The agency integrated the user information with their keystroke technology in order to monitor everything from your browser history to the characters you type, all in real time. The NSA is not the only entity that monitors user data. The third parties mentioned in Facebook’s privacy policy come in the form of corporations that use your “likes” to create ads. These ads follow you as you go from one website to the next.

Despite the vulnerability and paranoia, hope remains. An organization called Fight for the Future is petitioning to ensure that Facebook users do indeed have a right to privacy.

Click the link below to learn more about how you can help.

0 0 2334 29 July, 2014 News July 29, 2014

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