Happy Data Privacy Day!

Last month, Facebook updated the layout and features of users’ profiles, making it easier to share information with friends.  The upgrade also included tighter privacy settings.  Many users began complaining about Facebook’s privacy policy after learning that their personal information was being accessed by external sources without users’ permission.

Facebook users also became wary of privacy settings on Wednesday when Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook fan page was hacked.  The hacker’s message encourages Facebook to become a publicly traded company “if facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks.”  The IP address connects the hacker’s location to the US Department of Defense office in Williamsburg, Virginia, although he could have hacked into their IP network.

With users questioning Facebook’s privacy settings, the social networking site needs to appease its customer’s worries in order to keep them from moving to other similar sites.  This week Facebook is enabling HTTPS so that users can be sure that their information is being held by a secure connection.  If anyone tries to hack into a user’s Facebook page, they will not be able to see any of their information.  The catch, however, is that users must turn on HTTPS on their own.

Facebook has also added authentication features that will ask for more information if suspicious activity is detected.  Photos and other information from a user’s Facebook page will be used to ensure their identity and questions will be asked that only the user could know the answers to.

With all of these new privacy features being implemented with the help of Facebook’s public relations team, Facebook hopes their brand will remain legitimate and that they won’t lose any of their customers.  They have listened to the concerns of their users and have found multiple ways to calm down their worries.  With today being Data Privacy Day, we will see how long Facebook can keep their customers happy.

-Brie Golden

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6 thoughts on “Happy Data Privacy Day!

  1. The Facebook hack is another incident in the battle for information security. It has never been a good idea to put personal information online. Yet, it is in conflict with our culture’s need to socialize; we do it anyway. As a result, a site like Facebook is a tempting target for hackers. Facebook’s promise to secure account information is in reality, a very tall order.

    In general, people are creative. Of the many that might want to hack a network, a few will succeed. No matter how innovative the security is, give it enough time, and someone will find a way in. When they do, the security side of IT will reinvent the security wheel again, and put it back in play.

    The location of the Facebook hack is alarming. First of all, the hack was done remotely; who ever did it did not need to be anywhere near Facebook’s servers. The fact that the I.P. was traced back to the Department of Defense is even more alarming. Then there’s the possibility that the D.o.D.’s network was hacked to hack Facebook! (Hoe leash it!) There might be some nut job out there that can hack the D.o.D.’s network. That’s a big deal. If that’s not the case, then at very least, someone in the D.o.D. is being a smart ass and playing games with Facebook.

    As for personal information on the internet: Play it safe; assume that everyone on the planet will see your information.

    Shawn Galvin

  2. With facebook as large as it is with its millions of users, I agree that they have some work to do in keeping their customers satisfied. Privacy is a huge issue to many users that are on facebook, you don’t want just anyone to be able to view your personal information, wall posts, photos, and etc. It is comforting to know that the creator is aware of the problem, and working on a solution to keep his consumers happy. If he fails to produce a workable solution I believe consumers will gradually turn away from facebook and move on to other social networks. In today’s world, to keep facebook popular and well liked it must continue to be updated and changed for the better.
    -Kaitlin Green COM 295

  3. I do believe that Facebook needed this change. The utilization of using https was long overdue in my opinion and I hope this will dispel any rumors about companies tracking your facebook activity. I am an advocate for social networking and utilization but that doesn’t mean I am dumb about it. I have restricted access to everything on my facebook. If you are my friend you can see it and if not then you can’t. I am not naive to think that there is no one out there that could potentially look at my information or even hack into it. But the efforts that Facebook has made to keep one’s information private has been responsive and thorough.

    There will always be more skeptics than believers but I am one to believe that Facebook has been and will continue to make efforts to secure the information of it’s users. If an international employeer wants to use super fancy technology of search for my activity and find a picture of me years ago with my friends in high school so be it. Just for perspective’s sake UNCW a number of years ago not only had a list of students on their website but also had their social security numbers along with them. People are worried about their information on Facebook, how much information is their university giving out?

  4. Privacy is a huge ongoing issue with Facebook and its millions or billions of users. Unfortunately we cannot stop nor reduce hackers from doing what they do best but we can take standard cautious procedures to help ensure the privacy of our own world on Facebook. Day by day changes are made to Facebook to better suit the needs of its users but as these changes are made it seems that we are advertising ourselves more with the layout Facebook provides to us. It has been said that Facebook has become more of a “stalker status” reading than just simply being up to date or keeping in touch with your friends and families but this also comes from the user themselves by putting their daily routine, feelings or a play by play of what they are doing that allows these people to be more involved in your life than you know. Since there are many complaints about privacy violations these changes have to be made to keep these users on Facebook instead of them resulting in terminating their Facebook and becoming involved in a different social network. I highly believe that Facebook needed this change to help restrict privacy settings and https so people and companies cannot track you on Facebook and gain a wrong impression of the user. Facebook has used thorough procedures to conceal our privacy but that does not mean by any circumstance that our Facebook accounts can’t be hacked again. Also Facebook is not the only place on the net where someones information is out for public knowledge. People need to understand that our information is readily available for anyone to find on the net if we have had interaction through the web; which is extremely wide used everyday. So as Facebook did, maybe other online services can work on their privacy levels as well to help better protect our identity and privacy needs from the hackers that creep the web.

  5. Facebook has so many users worldwide, my opinion is that privacy is a really important point to pay attention to. If Facebook want their users keeping using Facebook they have to keep them satisfied. Almost everybody blocks now a days there information on their social networks. When you are applying for a job, you don’t want that they are first checking you out on Facebook, or people you don’t know looking on your Facebook. Facebook is a way to communicate with friend, so it is good that Facebook is paying attention for this problem and is working on it.

    But my opinion is also that we are exaggerating it. What kind of information are we putting on facebook? Just messages to friends, where we think about and what we are doing. We are not putting or bank account numbers or privacy issues online. We don’t have to make it bigger than it is.

  6. Nothing really can be completely private. Facebook is so very personal and when people to look at all your information it could become a serious matter. People lose jobs over the things that are posted on their facebook. There are still ways to find pictures that you might have tried hiding with the privacy settings.

    I would not be suprised if there is another website that will eventually replace facebook that has better privacy settings that will make people feel more safe. Facebook is going to have to step it up if they want to make sure that they don’t fade out like MySpace so easily did. They are going to have to think of better ways of protecting information and fast.

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