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Can We Trust Facebook Privacy Anymore?

Intern-al Issues is a fortnightly blog written by our Intern Tyson that looks at the latest issues and trends in digital marketing. Enjoy!

There is a love-hate relationship between Facebook and the rest of the world.

People love to use Facebook, but they hate the fact that there is so much disregard for the use of privacy for accounts.

There has been a lot of attention and a massive spotlight aimed at the company due to privacy concerns recently. As it turns out, problems after problems keep arising for the company.

Privacy Concerns

Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook has had to defend the actions of his company in a hearing a few weeks ago. He had to explain the social media platform’s actions regarding the data and privacy of Facebook accounts.

As 70% of all social media accounts in Australia are Facebook accounts, this affects a huge number of consumers. Just as the company thought that the media attention was going away, a new issue has arisen.

Unblocking accounts

You may have thought that you had permanently gotten rid of your loud and obnoxious ex-colleague, deleted that annoying former friend on Facebook by hitting the block button or blocking your photos from a certain family member so they can’t snoop in on what you are doing but as it turns out, a bug in the social network had other plans for your online relationship with these people.

A hiccup in both Facebook and Facebook Messenger resulted in the unblocking of some frustrating ex-friends. Over 800,000 Facebook users had their blocked preferences undone, which meant that their content was seen by users that were originally thought to be out of the picture. This occurred for over a week before Facebook could eventually fix the bug. Between May 29thand June 5th,a bug in the Facebook system was active and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things publicly posted to a wider audience. Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook has stated that “We know that the ability to block someone is important.”

When you block someone on Facebook they cannot see things that you post on your profile, re-add you as a Facebook friend or start conversations with you on Messenger. When you block someone you automatically unfriend them if you were previously Facebook friends. This bug was a major headache for the 800,000 accounts as they had unfriended people who could now see public posts and interactions.

Those people who were unblocked by the bug had the ability to contact their blocker via Messenger, which for most people could become very awkward. Facebook has since fixed the issue and everyone that should have been blocked has been blocked again but only after a whole week.

Where to now?

Can we trust Facebook again? How will we know our data is safe? I feel like a lot of people have a lot of questions for the extremely popular social media company and what they will do to try to prevent any more issues.

They will most probably give a generic response about how they are putting all their resources into fixing these bugs. Unless something is done I will continue my love-hate relationship with the company as Facebook is just a part of life for the majority of people, me included!

 

We hope you have enjoyed this article on Facebook and their recent issues. If you have anything you want to add please feel free to leave a comment below!

Tyson Spensieri
Tyson has recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business, majoring in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations