Over the years many social media sites have come and gone and the main ones that have survived are Facebook, Twitter and Google. They are forever growing, and they are also forever collecting data, our data. A Facebook or twitter account can have the maximum data safeguard levels, but still not be completely private. This is because all of the information about you is collected by the site and stored on their servers, information such as location check in’s, posts, videos, and photos, but who owns all this harvested data? Infact all data that is collected about you belongs to YOU! You have the right to demand that the data collected about you is removed from the sites servers. When we decide to leave a site we expect all of our data to be deleted, however it has been proved by a law student, From Ireland this is not always the case. He deleted a large amount of data from his Facebook account including wall posts and messages. He then downloaded the data packet that was available. Inside this data bundle he found that some of the collected data was still being held on Facebook’s servers. Facebook say that all of their server functions conform to the data protection act. There is a new directive that will introduce fines for individuals or companies that fail to protect individuals personal data, the fines under the new directive will be 1,000,000 euros or 2% of a companies turnover, which for companies with huge turnovers such as Google could be significant. The real problem with the mis-treatment of data is when so called anomalous data is collected and shared with a company or site which then adds data that makes you identifiable. Then a huge amount of your personal data such as spending habits, family, jobs, etc is accessible to companies such as online advertisers. So in conclusion if you do not want you personal data accessed then don’t share it in the first case!
Written by Jack Caulfield