Mission: to protect users’ data

Internet companies and social network platforms do not have it easy when it comes to protecting their users' information. (Josh Edelson / AFP)

More and more companies and governments try to take advantage of users’ data and information available on the social media

Facebook Scandal is nothing new. In recent years, several companies and governments have been caught trying to take advantage of social networks to get the stored information of its users, without the Internet users having given their permission.

Often, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter are accused of selling this data. However, other times it is the same platforms that report suffering from robberies and tampering. Which is why those who are responsible for social networks work to improve security and prevent information leaks.
However, it is getting more and more difficult to protect this data because computer hackers get through all firewalls.

Cybersecurity and cybercrime are increasingly important for businesses and governments nowadays. (Thomas Trutschel / Getty)

Information at any cost

Companies and governments show great interest in getting to know people’s tastes and their opinions because it is this information that allows them to make the right decisions for their businesses, invest in products with higher probability to succeed or even bring in laws that are more popular.

For its part, the Internet and social networks have billions of users who are constantly posting detailed information about themselves. They have become a very valuable source of information that authorities and other companies want to use in their own interest.

Therefore, large corporations and internet platforms make their employees and partners to keep their clients’ information and data secret. At the same time, they’re also careful who they’re working with, so that they don’t get spied on.

However, they do not always succeed in protecting their information. Twitter executives faced Dataminr, a company dedicated to the analysis of data on the Internet, because it was supposedly going to sell personal content to the US intelligence agency.

Something similar happened between Facebook and another company that they collaborated with, Geofeedia, dedicated to monitoring social networks. On that occasion, Facebook decided to limit the access that Geofeedia had to its users’ data.

Facebook president Mark Zuckerberg says his company did not know that Cambridge Analytics was filtering data from its users. (Nam Y. Huh / AP)

Data to change the world

The personal data of Internet users are not only useful for companies to make money or for political parties to win elections.

Throughout the world, hundreds of researchers work with information obtained from digital media legally, without interfering in the privacy of citizens. With this information sociological, psychological or economic research studies are carried out, for example.

In this way, the information of social networks also has its positive use: to develop social policies, design actions and works that can make the life of cities easier, develop projects that respond to peoples’ needs...

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report

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