What does Facebook data sharing mean for you?

Local News

Facebook is coming under fire in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but it remains the most used social media and networking platform in the world.

The site has amassed more than two billion active users worldwide.

“I mostly use it to just update my friends and my family about how I’m doing,” said Sean Black, a freshman at Mercyhurst University.

Keefer Kopco, a digital media strategist for Epic Web Studios said Facebook remains a popular social media service, because users can have “a lot of social interactions made very easily.”

But you could find yourself interacting with people and companies unknowingly.

“They’re stealing people’s information without them knowing, basically,” said Black.

Mercyhurst sophomore Vitaliy Tserger said, “It’s invading your privacy. I know a lot of people are getting upset [with] the government spying on them.”

Cambridge Analytica used personality tests on Facebook as a tool to secretly collect data on more than 50 million users, according to whistleblowers.

Afzal Upal, Ph.D., chair of Mercyhurst University’s Computing & Information Science Department said, “They don’t really care about where I personally shop or where you shop or what you do.” 

He said the researchers care more about garnering information about the behavior of populations.

“They’re interested in these aggregate models that they can build by collecting information about millions of people.”

As evidenced by the trending #DELETEFACEBOOK, the fiasco has some people logging off forever.

Kopco, the digital media strategist, said, “People are talking about deleting their Facebook and pulling away from Facebook; but it’s funny, they’re still going to other social media outlets. You still see them on Instagram and Twitter, and they’re collecting the same kind of information that Facebook is collecting.”

Although you can delete your account, any content that has been harvested by firms could be stored permanently.

“There’s no real way to opt out of the data that’s already been collected at this point,” said Upal.

To learn more about deleting a Facebook account, click here.

If you need to save your Facebook photos and other content, visit Facebook’s General Account Settings page and click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”

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