Feb, 2022

There is a song entitled 'The Best Things in Life Are Free.' Even wonder if this is true? Price is not always measured in money; it could be a success, health, happiness, etc. This leads us to the fact that everything we have, an effort has been put in, or a sacrifice has been made for. Although the cost cannot be anticipated in advance, it is always there. The real wonder is what are the consequences and what we are willing to pay to get what we need. Let's all agree on the fact that whatever is free attracts us. Keeping in touch with our beloved ones, messaging them, having access to all kinds of information with one click, watching whatever we want whenever we wish seem too good to be free. So what are we giving in return? 


The cost is our privacy. 


'If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.' A quote that was said in a recently released documentary entitled Social Dilemma, where the designers of social media platforms like Facebook and Google share some shocking facts and reveal how we are being tracked and controlled. Even though, most users are aware of this reality, when it is admitted by the authority and companies themselves, it is a direct punch in the face. As a matter of fact, every company giving free service is taking something in return. And we all know what that thing is; we all know how those companies make money by collecting our data for advertisements, but we ignore how far they can go for it). Nowadays, Google combines privacy policies across Gmail, YouTube and other platforms, and it says for a better service. Some companies claim that they have the absolute right to manipulate and use our data because while signing up, we all agreed on some terms and conditions that allow access to our privacy. They say the reason why they ask for these pieces of information is to enhance our experience and personalize our ads but is it really the case? Isn't it a violation of our privacy? Isn't it with the aim of continuing their mission to sell advertising and build their empire? 

You meet someone on the street, and when you log in to your Facebook account, that particular person is suggested to you as someone you may know. You search for something on Google, and somehow it will show up on your Instagram. You like a product on a website, then you find it on YouTube. You wonder how is this possible? Well, because our personal data are bought and sold for profit within different data collecting companies. While social media increase our engagement to specific platforms, we are helping them build an enormous database.

A Website consists of two ends i.e. Frontend and Backend.

·        Frontend: In Facebook, the front end is the awesome blue color page where we can see our friends who are online, some advertisement, friend's suggestions in the right side, whereas in the center some news feed and so on.

·        Backend: The backend stores all the data -the things we do in Facebook like comments, shares, chat logs, liking a page, advertisement, picture, etc. Developers at Facebook have full access to our account. From our private chat logs to the likes, shares, liking of pages, our relationship status they know it all. Moreover, it doesn't end here; they also know what we are doing in the other tab of the browser too. For example, if we have logged into Facebook and we are searching for something in another website or anything in a different tab, then Facebook knows what we are searching for, our viewing, etc.


What is the solution? 


Edward Tufte, the computer science, said: ' There are only two industries that call their customers "users": illegal drugs and software." It is hard to swallow the truth, but it is to be told the only way to prevent the violation of privacy is to stop using social media platforms altogether; however, we can always minimize this invasion and be somehow secure. It is essential to limit platforms access to your personal data. You have to wisely choose the information provided and take necessary precautions to save your privacy. You should better think twice before agreeing on any terms or conditions and reading them carefully. It is also indispensable to manage your privacy setting and delete your historic search every time you browse the web. Remember that you are the owner of your data, and it is up to you to specify what can be shared and what cannot be, and the spread of your personal data without your permission is not okay. And if there is a price that needs to be paid, do your best not to make it expensive. Being aware that we are under surveillance makes us more careful and responsible at the same time on what we are sharing through the web.




Social media platforms have provided us a virtual connected world; however, in order to enjoy this prestige, your privacy is sacrificed. It is both a dreamland and a horror movie. Technology continues to evolve, and our privacy continues to expose; every day that pasts, the internet digs deeper into our lives, and we provide it an easy pathway to do so. 





Transat Telecom Blog Team Auteur

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