Facebook – what’s going on and should I be worried?

Posted on: 12 April 2018
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This month our Information and IT Security officer, Graeme Wolfe, looks at the recent news about Facebook and how your personal information is worth money to companies, as well as criminals.

“Data is the new oil” and “If you’re not paying for a service, then you are the product”

These are a couple of quotes you may have heard recently in the news, after the revelations that Facebook allowed a number of companies, via various apps and games, to access the data of over 87 million people, which may then have been used to target and manipulate those people to behave in a particular way.

To those of us in the cyber security or digital media industries this is not news, as we have known for years that the way many large internet companies make their money is through advertising and data processing. I mentioned as much in my blog posts in Feb 2016 and Feb 2017

The trouble is this is not the first, or second, or third time, that Facebook has been investigated by regulators across the world. Facebook has been apologising for misusing its users’ data for over 10 years now.

There are numerous stories in the media about the attitude Facebook had towards data security and privacy, with Mr Zuckerberg even admitting before the US Congress that they didn’t do as good a job on these fronts as they should have done.

So the next time you are bored and decide to complete an on line ‘quiz’ about your family background, or your early life with pets, or cars, or friends, or colours, (funny how they are so often about the same subjects as the security questions used to verify your identity!!!) just consider the fact that someone, somewhere, could be gathering this information about you and storing it for use now, or at any point in the future.

Graeme Wolfe

Information and IT Security Officer



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