Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Facebook Helping Advertisers See What You're Talking About

We currently live in a time where accessing the internet and social media has become one of the most commonplace things to do. It's as natural as making a phone call now and it's almost impossible to live your day to day life without surfing the web. Couple that with the social media giants such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and you have a media forum that is just teeming with potential consumers. Naturally, the bigger the social media forum, the more attention from businesses it's going to attract. Now, with the implementation of paying for ads and overall ad targeting, some users are a bit concerned about their privacy rights.

The simple fact is that when you sign up for an account on any type of social media, all of the personal data you input to sign up for your account is then left on the servers of that social media platform. The companies looking to advertise on the social media networks are then able to pay large lump sums to gain access to a certain level of personal information, such as your age for age group targeted ads. This has to raise some level of concern for some people.

We've all seen that little tab at the bottom of our social media pages titled "Privacy Policy". It shows up on just about every website you access. Not many of us read it though, as it's chock full of legal jargon that many of us can't properly comprehend.

Recently, Facebook underwent a privacy policy change that put all of its policies in a language us non-lawyers can understand. Facebook, however, also just recently made a deal with DataSift in an attempt to help businesses and advertisers figure out what topics are being talked about by different demographics. This is just another step made by Facebook to help the multitude of companies understand how its many users utilize its services.

With current topics in the air, such as Net Neutrality, it's very easy to see how some see this as a huge privacy concern.

When you jump on the internet to surf the web or post your opinions on your social media platforms, you're expecting there to be some level of anonymity and privacy that you can keep on a free and open internet. After a recent proposal by the FCC, it seems that the internet will remain free and unbiased from businesses trying to outdo the competition. That being said, it can still be debated as to how much information businesses and advertisers should be able to access, no matter how much money they're offering.

Is it going to come to a point where Facebook faces a legal issue based on internet privacy? Maybe we will have to have protection via different and updated forms of computer security. Are you comfortable with needing to encrypt everything on your computer just to make sure that you yourself are in control of your personal data and information on the different social media networks?

It may be just companies and advertisements, but we've definitely seen certain social media platforms get out of hand with their so called "targeting". How do you feel about this access to your information? Do you think the time might be coming where you need to ramp up your internet security?

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