How Social Media Selling Our Data Will Soon Be Over
We live in an age where our data is sold to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and other social media corporations. Nothing is really private, and personal data is not entirely yours.
The latest Cambridge Analytica scandal brought all of this to the spotlight, and people are now more conscious of how their data can be sold or even stolen. In the case of Cambridge Analytica, it was discovered that the corporation took users’ data through a Facebook app and then traded the data to the Donald Trump political campaign. It is estimated that 50 million people were affected by the incident.
In 2016, there was news that internet organizations were going to start selling the browsing history of people. Yes, you read that right. Your browsing history was going to be sold to corporations to use the data as they deem fit.
Looking into the future, all of this sounds quite scary. It’s George Orwell’s 1984 all over again. This is Big Brother snooping into our private lives and harvesting all that we do and say on social media. It means that nothing is really private. To be realistic, a lot of us don’t hold back on social media. We give updates on what we are eating, what TV shows and movies we are watching, who are new friends are, the books we read, our political affiliations and personal affairs. Everyone knows what school we attended, where we live, where we work, the age of our children, our relationship status, etc.
Already, we see the effects. One minute you’re looking for a new vacuum and next thing you know, images of vacuums are filling up your search results.
We have to realize that we are the ones giving Facebook and all these other social media channels our information for free. We are posting on Snapchat and Twitter without being asked to. We constantly upload Instagram stories, WhatsApp statuses and share other infinitesimal data voluntarily.
We share so much for free. We spend a lot of time crafting top-notch content only for these corporations to make money from it.
We need to stop all that. We need to realize that the power is in our hands.
Going forward, we need to stop spending so much time crafting quality content and not getting paid for it. Our personal data is ours and not for others to profit from. Steemit, Arcane Bear, Aktie social and other platforms are providing ways for people to craft quality content and get paid for it. On these platforms, you can create content and get rewarded for it in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is a good way of getting paid for the personal data that you generate.
The decentralized nature of the Blockchain makes it a worthy alternative. You also have things under your control, and you can set permissions and be compensated financially for content that you choose to receive. It is not like social media which is being controlled by social media companies. The same way, people get paid for uploading content on Twitch and YouTube is the way, users can also be paid for the content that they create.
Also, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites now accept money for paid ads. They also collect money to sponsor pages, groups, and posts. This has proven to be profitable for them, and it is an acceptable way for them to make money without selling our data.
We must also learn to detox ourselves from social media. If we are spending so much time on Facebook and other social media sites, we need to stop spending a lot of time on them. We can program ourselves to take daily, weekly and monthly breaks from their apps and websites.
You can use apps like Moment, StayFocusd and Freedom to monitor your usage of these websites.
We must remember that social media is a tool for us to use for our benefit. It must not become an addiction that we need to feed. Stop selling the personal data of yourself and your children.