Facebook is in hot water. But should that water be quite so hot?
While the recent Cambridge Analytica news may seem like a revelation, it really shouldn't be.
Facebook has told users for years they were taking and sharing data.
Many in data security and privacy circles contend the recent outcry over Facebook's data collection and sharing practices is more evidence the vast majority of people do not read privacy notices.
Now, could Facebook have been more specific in its privacy notice? Of course.
Because they were vague, most Facebook users did not realize how much data was actually being collected. Many believed the best—that Facebook was only taking and sharing data specific to what users intentionally posted.
So, while I stop short of calling this a revelation, I will call it a wake-up call. The Cambridge Analytica incident proves we all must:
- Read privacy notices to understand how sites, apps, and others are sharing and using our data.
- Demand all organizations be transparent within privacy notices.
- Insist on knowing the types of data collected, how it's being used, and with whom it's being shared.
If you are wondering what you can do to reduce the risks of your own Facebook data overexposure (short of moving off the planet), take a look at this guide from EFF on adjusting your Facebook settings.
Here's what the article recommends, in brief:
• In Facebook's Settings Menu, select Apps.
• Click Edit under Apps, Websites and Plugins. Choose Disable Platform.
If you don't want to disable the entire platform:
• Click Edit under Apps Others Use. Uncheck the info you don't want accessed by friends' apps.