On November 15, Facebook users logged on to see a gruesome surprise. Facebook was hacked and hit by a massive spam attack, and users' feeds were filled with pornographic images and disturbing images of violence towards animals.
Users who encountered this were appalled. The incident highlights the fact that as Facebook keeps growing, it is becoming less private. How much are we really willing to give up to use this popular social networking site?
Facebook needs more privacy regulations to ensure the safety of users.
When Facebook began automatically allowing names, photos, and personal information available to anyone on the Internet, the Federal Trade Commission began an investigation that has lasted two years, but looks to be coming to an end soon. If the FTC’s settlement is approved, Facebook will be required to get explicit consent from its 800 million users to change privacy settings. Facebook also would undergo government reviews of privacy practices.
As soon as one gets to the Facebook log-in page, a set of "browser cookies" are activated. These browser cookies track and log the date and time of each URL visited that has a Facebook plug-in, your IP address, your screen resolution, and browser version. If you decide to log-in or create an account, the "session cookies" are activated.
These cookies track and log everything the browser cookies do, plus your name, email, Facebook friends, and preferences based on what you "like" and provide in your profile.
According to self-proclaimed hacker Nik Cubrilovic, "Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every place you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions."
It is important for Facebook users to understand how much their privacy is being jeopardized. Seeing this multi-billion dollar site get hacked so easily makes me wonder how accessible my private information actually is.
It is important for Facebook users that this FTC settlement goes though. Without even knowing, our personal information is being made public. These regulations will bring comfort to users.
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