We are in the middle of a privacy crisis regarding our online information, we may think our information is safe online but is it? Privacy is something we all need and deserve and the possibility that some of our information could be getting into the wrong hands is alarming to say the least. This example of Facebook is just one of the thousands of online companies out there, we trust them but now that trust is being put to the test. People don’t use Facebook nearly as much as when it first came out, our generation is into other things like Snapchat and Instagram. Ironically Instagram is owned by Facebook, hopefully they don’t follow in their same footsteps.
So what did Facebook actually do with the private information of their users? In their 14 years of existence Facebook seems to have had a problem with keeping certain things private. When they introduced the news feed in 2006 people didn’t like how everything they did was being put out there on their friend’s news feeds. The feed would give updates about anything you do on the website whether it be a comment or a picture, everyone you have on your friends list could see it pop up in their feed. Eventually people started to get accustomed to the news feed and it’s a pretty big part of Facebook’s success. Then in 2007, Facebook had their first encounter with advertising privacy issues. Zuckerberg created something so that companies were able to track what a user has bought and then advertise that product to all of their friends sometimes without that person even knowing. After people found out Zuckerberg issued an apology and gave the users a choice to either use it or turn it off.
Finally, the mistake that really put Facebook in a downward spiral was in 2011 where Facebook shared information with advertisers despite them promising that they wouldn’t. Third-party apps were able to access nearly all of your information even private posts without user consent. As of March 2018, Zuckerberg finally came out and said that they knew about the privacy issues but did not do much to stop them. He proposed new ways of going about this including more privacy restrictions and something that allows you to see who has access to your information. There’s going to be an option that allows you to withdraw certain companies access to your information depending on if you trust them or not.
Some people may be thinking that they don’t care who sees their information because they have nothing to hide. This is true for certain people, however the fact that these companies could have been browsing what you like to do and what you post means that they could control what you see to persuade you to buy their product. Also if an employer wants to get to know more about you they could do a quick Facebook search and have access to things that they probably shouldn’t know about. This is problematic because it would influence their decision to hire you or not.
Privacy is something that should never be meddled with, everyone is entitled to it and as humans we crave and need it. Facebook crossed a line that made us realize that maybe those private posts aren’t so private after all. I’m hoping that Facebook pulls themselves together and create a safe and private platform that would allow users to have a clear conscience knowing their information is protected. Sadly, a great company like Facebook hit this major roadblock which costed them greatly. Facebook will not be viewed the same anymore and I believe that the death of Facebook is imminent.