Should We Trust Facebook with Our Romantic Data?
In his article titled “Don’t Trust Facebook With Your Love Life”, Charlie Warzel argues that we should not trust Facebook with our intimate romantic data. Warzel comes to this conclusion because he believes Facebook’s history of privacy failures makes them particularly unsuitable for handling this information. Our romantic data is primarily different from the rest of our data because of its unique potential to absolutely destroy your personal life if it was leaked. For example your spouse would be pretty unhappy if a data breach revealed you were cheating on them.
It is unfair to single out Facebook in this regard because the benefits of modern-day social media can only be reaped by sacrificing our privacy to some extent. In addition, why does Warzel only have an issue with Facebook having our romantic data? We give Facebook plenty of equally sensitive information about ourselves such as our phone numbers, our contacts, as well as everything else we do on the app. So, the question is, what makes our romantic data any different from everything else Facebook knows about us?
To be fair, Warzel doesn’t single out Facebook entirely in his article but, his writing strongly implies that Facebook is the worst of the worst, unmatched when it comes to privacy blunders. As a privacy concerned user of social media myself, I know that other social media sites share Facebook’s reputation and can be just as bad concerning user privacy. For example, this past May it was discovered that Snapchat’s employees were spying on their users through a backdoor tool. Furthermore, sites such as Twitter share Facebook’s reputation for data breaches, Twitter having major breaches in both 2018 and 2019, the 2018 breach potentially leaking all the sites 330 million user’s login credentials. Even if a breach occurred that leaked romantic data Facebook would not be alone. In 2015 dating sites ashleymadison.com and match.com both suffered major breaches exposing the details of millions of users romantic escapades.
In order to enjoy the many benefits of social media you have to give up any expectations of privacy you may have. If you are ok with that you can continue to use social media like the rest of us but, if you don’t want to deal with the privacy nightmare that is modern social media, the best way to ensure your privacy is to meet people in real life, no internet connection required. To conclude, Warzel was correct about Facebook being a privacy nightmare but, so are the rest of the social media platforms. What makes Facebook any different from the rest?