Do social media apps know too much about you?

Melanie Reiter, Staff Writer

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With the controversy regarding Facebook and privacy, it is important to think about just how much information your social media collects, and for what reasons.

Social media sites want to acquire its users information mainly for economical gain. Facebook, for example, benefits from your data because advertising companies pay them in order to target their demographics for personalized ads, straight to your feed. By knowing its users’ interests, they are able to advertise more efficiently.

Social media sites are extremely well at gathering information. While clicking through the terms of service agreements when downloading a new app, you are allowing Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. to share your location services, contacts, and photos to name a few.

David Garcia, a computational social scientist says, “we are not in full control of our privacy,” however, there are steps we can take on our end to protect our privacy; by making your profile private, not including personal information, and disabling the location settings.

Social media apps will continue collecting more and more of our data over time, it is what keeps them in business, having advertising companies pay them so we don’t have to. That being said, it is our responsibility to regularly check our privacy settings and to thoroughly read the terms of service the next time we download an app, instead of mindlessly clicking the “agree” or “allow” button.

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