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Privacy, Ownership, and Surveillance in Social Media

As an individual using social media, I consider that hacking my data is a more dangerous issue than surveillance and sale of my online activities. I am impressed by Google’s and Facebook’s data collection activity described by Dylan Curran (Curran, 2018). However, I am more afraid of being hacked because people with unlawful intentions will access my private messages, addresses, phone numbers, and photos of important documents.

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The question discussed in the episode about Facebook surveillance disturbed me earlier. Nowadays, with the introduction of Ray-ban Stories, Facebook will inevitably obtain more personal data (Velazco, 2021). Still, are they so all-pervading that they listen to our conversations? I tend to think that modern voice recognition technology is showing fascinating results, so it could be applied for providing advertisements as a supplement to the technologies of Facebook Pixel and defining locations described by Alex (Goldman & Voght, 2017). Therefore, I agree with PJ, and I guess profiling techniques presented by Julia Angwin (Poyant et al., 2016) are applied together with the speech recognition technology. This technology might spot combinations of words, such as “a tool for” and “a medicine for,” and proper names – specific labels, organizations, and individuals. Several times I was astounded how things that I mentioned during conversations in a humorous way, such as “masquerade costumes,” appeared in my news feed. Hence, I suppose that the only reasonable explanation for it is the application of microphones.

Although I am aware of measures to protect my privacy, I still act against prescribed precautions. I often use randomly generated passwords for my accounts, but when I face the need to log in somewhere outside of my home, I change them to be meaningful and easier to remember. Therefore, the most important accounts are protected by the same password: it is convenient but rather careless.

When I think that somebody could be using the data of deceased people, it makes me feel uneasy. I consider the common rule should be as follows: after people’s death, all their accounts should be deleted if there were no personal consent to make the account public. It is the practice applied by Facebook in such cases (Chaudhry, 2017). It could also be reasonable to provide companies with a phone number of a person who will be eligible to decide what to do with the account.

References

Chaudhry, M. (2017). What happens to your social media accounts when you die? Social Media Explorer.

Curran, D. [@iamdylancurran] (2018). Want to freak yourself out? I’m gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realizing it. [Tweet]. Twitter. Web.

Goldman, A. & Voght, P. J. (2017). Is Facebook spying on you? (No. 109) [Audio podcast episode]. In Reply All Podcast. Gimlet.

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Poyant, J., Plourde, J., Kagel, J., Rao, M., Cunnane, M., & Boynton, M. (Producers). (2016). Digging into Facebook’s file on you. [Audio podcast episode]. In Note to Self Podcast. WNYC Studios.

Velazco, C. (2021). Facebook glasses: Not overtly “smart”, maybe a little shady. The Washington Post.

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StudyCorgi. "Privacy, Ownership, and Surveillance in Social Media." October 6, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/privacy-ownership-and-surveillance-in-social-media/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Privacy, Ownership, and Surveillance in Social Media." October 6, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/privacy-ownership-and-surveillance-in-social-media/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Privacy, Ownership, and Surveillance in Social Media'. 6 October.

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