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Privacy Issues Concerning Social Media

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Ever since social media was introduced as such a necessary and almost vital part of our lives, several concerns have risen about the boundaries at which we must draw in terms of our privacy. The mass of information users pour into this endless stream of data is most frequently being misused for profit-oriented purposes. One must also note, that mass does not directly translate to volume, you may think your daily Foursquare check-in at a grocery store or restaurant is seemingly harmful, but think otherwise, this information translates into a tremendously large volume. The fact that you visit these places can be strategically used to understand your demographic, level of income, interests, and your entire lifestyle. For example, data-gathering firms may interpret this data by tracking down your daily 9 A. M. visit to the grocery store and potentially circulating this information to a marketing company in order to bombard you with the (estimated) perfectly tailored advertisements. This runs a whole lot deeper if you make your purchase by any of the widely popular Apple or Android pay services, detailed and exact payment receipts are saved on to your account and may also be mishandled.

Up until here, your daily 9 A. M. trip to the grocery store not only provides what time of day you prefer to shop, but also what you buy, how often you buy it, and whether or not you have coupon-savvy skills. And since marketing works at its utmost prime level when its personalized, the industry recently began to use AI (artificial intelligence) to help perfect the advertising process. For example, a simple AI tool could inform that you navigate to this specific grocery store at approximately 9:12 A. M. and reach your destination at 9:37 A. M. , leaving a time window for your occasional pitstop at a nearby café. All this information you may not even know or keep track of yourself, is already being noted down externally.

On a less corporate and more personal scale, social media has aided in the malicious and ill-intended surveillance of countless users. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of the levels at which simple posts may expose about ourselves, in an attempt to socialize and share ones’ daily thoughts and/or activities, we may potentially be providing the ideal information a stalker would need. Popular and successful social media platforms make it relatively easy for users to share your photos, location, and even contact information, but who exactly is this sensitive information being shared with?

This is an important question every user must ask themselves in order to avoid being a potential stalking victim. For instance, “63% of Facebook profiles are visible to the public, meaning if you Google someone’s name and you add “+Facebook” in the search bar you pretty much will see most of the person profile. A study of Facebook profiles from students at Carnegie Mellon University revealed that about 800 profiles included current resident and at least two classes being studied, theoretically allowing viewers to know the precise location of individuals at specific times. ” The typical user most likely thinks their location is innocuous and of little significance, however, current or past whereabouts make it alarmingly easy for a cyber-stalker to hunt you down. Every online move leaves cyber footprints that are rapidly becoming livestock feed for research without people ever realizing it.

Another raising concern is identity theft, since so much information is supplied, so many other things can be deduced, like a person’s ID number. “In 2009, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University published a study showing that it is possible to predict most and sometimes all of an individual’s 9-digit Social Security number using information gleaned from social networks and online databases”. In addition, thousands of photographs have been unlawfully stolen off of social networking profiles and used to accommodate the theft. Regrettably so, social media platforms haven’t take any effective action towards this heinous act.

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Privacy Issues Concerning Social Media. (2020, March 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/privacy-issues-concerning-social-media/
“Privacy Issues Concerning Social Media.” GradesFixer, 16 Mar. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/privacy-issues-concerning-social-media/
Privacy Issues Concerning Social Media. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/privacy-issues-concerning-social-media/> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2022].
Privacy Issues Concerning Social Media [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Mar 16 [cited 2022 Sept 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/privacy-issues-concerning-social-media/
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