The internet in many ways is still the new wild west. It houses pioneers of the future and allows outlaws to ravage and roam as they please. Social media and pretty much everything users put on the internet, teems with personal data.
Over the recent years, we’ve learned about social media disinformation (false news pages, deeptakes, altered videos) and how a political consulting firm like Cambridge Analytica acquired access to private data on millions of Facebook users. In one story I reported on, I found that romance scammers and sextortionists were consistently taking advantage of private information on Facebook for their nefarious purposes (www.thedailybeast.com/sextortion-killed-their-son-cops-looked-the-other-way). Recently, Facebook and the internet have become a treasure trove for mediums and psychics looking to do the same.
According to the New York Times story, a group of online vigilantes have been exposing celebrity mediums and psychics for fooling their audiences by reading their social media pages in advance. (www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/magazine/psychics-skeptics-facebook.html).
Whether Facebook needs more transparency in which users can update and tighten privacy settings or whether Facebook needs to be regulated by the government, they have become the center of the discussion about privacy protection. This week Forbes reported on how Facebook lets people find users by their two-factor phone number- and how they didn't disclose it- (www.forbes.com/sites/leemathews/2019/03/04/facebook-lets-people-find-you-by-your-two-factor-phone-number-and-you-cant-stop-it/#8906c696b755). Last week, Wired warned Android users to check their location privacy settings on Facebook (https://www.wired.com/story/android-facebook-location-privacy-setting/).
The U.K.government has tried to hold Facebook more accountable for their fake news disinformation (www.cnn.com/2019/02/17/tech/facebook-fake-news-disinformation-report/index.html). Some say U.S. politicians, mostly made up of an older generation, aren’t asking the right questions about privacy in technology because they don’t understand technology.
Do you think social media sites, especially Facebook, need to be regulated and/or held more accountable for protecting online privacy or is that responsibility up to the user? Why/why not?
Do you have a Facebook account? Does privacy concern you? How private are your settings on Facebook or other social media sites? How often do you check/stay updated on privacy setting changes?
For more information, check out the group of online vigilantes doing something similar to "Guerrilla Skeptics" at: https://scamsurvivors.com