With Facebook’s announcement of their plan last January, users are alarmed and threatened as to their online security. The company has just made public that it plans to allow third-party developers to gain access to users’ data. It was made clear that Facebook would only allow access to home addresses and phone numbers of users. At first it would appear there is nothing to worry about “letting loose” of such data. Others would even say “What’s big about addresses and phone numbers”?
Many groups and even individuals have raised concerns, asking Facebook to stop its plans. Some even wrote personal letters to CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to drop the idea. The issue seems to be so urgent that it has started a massive campaign rejecting the plan. Even those users who know less about identity theft have also expressed their fear. It is true data behavioral tracking is not new. Many data marketing companies have amassed much money out of data that they have covertly collected. However, with Facebook’s plan of “freely” giving out user information, these companies do not have to “hide” their secret activities. On the other side, users will be open and helpless targets of people who could hurt them.
It may be good information to know what could be done with a user’s phone number and home address. Anyone with ample knowledge on data mining techniques would know that these two hold more than that information. These would open to other user information such as date of birth, e-mail address, or even estimated income. An identity theft could mine practically all other data he would need for his or her hidden agenda. The thief could apply for a loan or credit card in the name of the unsuspicious Facebook user.
New technologies have enabled families and friends all over the world to keep in touch. One after the other, development of these technologies has also made it easier to share data and information. Alongside with these, people have become careless in uploading their personal data without thinking of the consequences. Then technology that allowed third parties to secretly “steal” data over the internet became fully developed. This gave rise to a problem that users have to fight against, or just to live with – the problem of privacy invasion.
So much personal information has been made available into the hands of large companies and third parties. Facebook holds tens of millions of this information. Pushing through with its plan would not only endanger their direct customers. It would include their customers’ friends and families whose data are also “attached”. To avert such catastrophe, Facebook should reverse its plan – that’s the only way to protect its users.No tags for this post.