Is there privacy in a digital world?

The “Download your data” link did not surprise me and I was almost curious to know what Facebook had stored. However, when I did see the data, I realized that posts that I had deleted and had hoped I wouldn’t see again were also on the screen. Photos, messages, status updates- every detail about me was staring at me. Much of the data was posted when I was younger, probably 12. And it upset me that Facebook had recorded my entire life and had created a digital history about my life.

I definitely think this is an invasion of privacy. I could see the reality of our worlds being merged into the digital world, and I am quite frankly, scared. Seeing how humans are the “social animals”, we don’t want to be left out of this fascinating website that everybody seems to be glued to. There are other aspects that are attractive as well. We get “likes” and “followers”, which are naturally addictive, because there is nothing more addictive than approval.  The world is in digital danger, and we are helpless.

A little research showed me that Facebook has smart algorithms that analyze people, and over time, determine our interests, friends we may know and other details about our lives. The News Feed sorting algorithm is one such technology. Sometimes, Facebook, through other sources , find out about much of our personal details as well. These details may or may not have been provided by you.

Technology advancement has other cons. In 2011, there were face recognition applications for phones, made by a group of hackers, that show complete bio geographical data about the person with just a picture. I could only regret posting the pictures I did. Facebook owns them now.

Facebook also uses it for other purposes as well:

“We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship.” 

However, they removed this clause after criticism.

This danger lies not only with Facebook, but with also other social networking sites like Twitter etc. But Twitter does not take your personal information other than your location.

Recently, a bug has been found in Facebook, where Facebook had accidentally been allowing our information to be seen by other users. This bug has been fixed, but it worries me as to what kind of information can be released. What if it’s your credit card number next? It forces me to question- Is there privacy in this digitalized world?

This was my reaction when I downloaded my data archive. And I have successfully terminated my Facebook account. 

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