“The Internet is a scary place”
There are a few issues on the unethical use of social media (Vinjamuri, 2011), however, the most significant issue to me was to compromise the privacy of consumers. To start off the topic, I have decided to use a different approach of a short intro on how businesses exploit the use of social media to obtain our information.
What is the point of having passwords and privacy settings when our information is eventually sold or shared to others without our consent?! It is certainly unethical to be monitored by companies at all times without knowing. Here are some of the ways on how our information are being compromised by Facebook.
Getting cold calls from telemarketers and companies may seem insignificant as one can just ignore the calls but compromisation of information could lead to something bigger as well.
With information to be easily taken away from the social media, anyone could just grab our photo and biography to create a “new identity” of ourselves that we are not known of which is also known as identity theft. One example would the case of Ruth Palmer.
Fake accounts of Ruth Palmer under the name of Leah Palmer was created and uploaded to various social media platforms. This fake profile of Leah Palmer has been seeking for online relationship saying the man in those photos are her psychotic ex-boyfriend whereas in reality the man is actually Ruth Palmer husband and they are happily married! All these photos were all downloaded via Ruth’s social media platforms. Worse of all, Ruth did not know about this issue until 3 years later after her friend sends her a picture of this profile! It sure is scary to know how strangers can easily steal our identity due to the lack of privacy on social media.
Another example on compromisation of privacy is the use of our biometric data for Facebook Autotagging function. According to (Fiveash, 2011), the face recognition technology violates the laws of privacy in EU and German have raised certain issues as well. To be honest, every time Facebook managed to auto detect the profile of the person in the photo leaves me in between the feeling of shock and amazement at the same time.
Although the integral use of social media and our information have brought much ease to our life be it for personal or business use, still it is unethical for social media firms to release our data without our consent. Perhaps higher security measures or even just asking us if we are willing to disclose our information would even be better than releasing it behind our back. So, what are your views on this?
Vinjamuri, D. (2011) Ethics and the Five deadly sins of social media. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2011/11/03/ethics-and-the-5-deadly-sins-of-social-media/#26a50c9737ad
Fiveash, K. (2011) Facebook facial recognition tech ‘violates’ German privacy law. Available at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/04/germany_no_to_facebook_facial_recognition/ (Accessed: 11 November 2016).
Kleinman, Z. (2015) Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31710738 (Accessed: 11 November 2016).