Social media has taken over many aspects of modern-day life.
While it can be a great resource in some cases, for others it is a tool that destroys users’ privacy and sometimes their very lives.
And Facebook’s privacy violations are far from over—in fact, they’re just beginning.
Recently, a post went viral claiming that Facebook was going to make any content posted on the site public.
Supposedly, if you re-posted the viral post – which included telling Facebook it did not have permission to share your content – you were “safe.”
You may have seen your loved ones share it, or maybe you shared it because you were unsure if your private information was safe or not.
The most popular iteration of the hoax is as follows:
Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Facebook rule where they can use your photos. I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. With this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute.
But in reality, this is just a chain letter hoax which pokes at one of Facebook’s biggest issues—privacy concerns for users on the social site.
Since Facebook first began, it’s been the subject of controversy. But in the last decade alone, Facebook has had some major problems with keeping user information private from third-parties, government spy shops, and Russian and Chinese hackers.
In 2011, Facebook was the subject of investigation and faced privacy charges by the FTC.
They were charged with not keeping their privacy promise to users after they allowed private information to be made public.
If users authorized an app to access their profile information, it wasn’t just their name and birthday—it was everything.
Facebook agreed to undergo a privacy evaluation every other year for the next twenty years.
In February 2018, Belgian courts announced that Facebook would have to stop tracking people across the internet. Facebook was able to collect private information on third-party sites by using cookies.
Facebook was ordered to delete all the information they obtained illegally or face a million euro fine. They appealed the decision of the court.
In March 2018, Facebook had another major issue—this time with data breaching.
Millions of Facebook users fell victim to a massive data breach, and CEO and creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg posted that the company was “partially to blame” and would change their privacy policies.
And still, Facebook’s privacy control issues continued well into 2019.
In January of 2019, Facebook was caught manipulating software on Apple IOS devices that would allow them to gather information directly from a user’s phone just by downloading an app.
The incident led to Apple shutting down Facebook’s use of the software, but eventually they regained their abilities to use the specific type of enterprising certificate.
In February of 2019, internal Facebook emails were leaked that detailed a plan to launch a program which would take the location of Android users and match it to location-aware products. The program would also illustrate how these people were using the app in their daily lives.
In March 2019, Zuckerberg finally admitted that the company was failing in terms of protecting their users privacy and swore to transform Facebook—but so far, there have been no significant changes.
The recent copy-and-paste status that claims Facebook will reveal your private information to the public is not too far off from the real issues Facebook has been having in recent years – which begs the question, is your private information really safe on Facebook?