What privacy rights Facebook users give up when joining
URBANA, Ill. (WCCU) —
More than two billion users have accepted Facebook's terms and conditions when joining—and most of those users probably didn't read through the fine print to know exactly what they were agreeing to.
Facebook can track users’ location through GPS, Bluetooth and WIFI.
It can collect payment information, like a credit card, when users make purchases through the site. It can even pick up on keywords users search or say in conversations.
“I was searching something on Amazon and I opened up Facebook and had ads for it,” said user Nicole Kucera.
Karrie Karahalios, a University of Illinois Computer Science Professor, said the idea of online privacy is still a new concept.
“Everyone is trying to figure out what privacy means right now in this century,” Karahalios said.
She said a lot of companies change their terms and conditions constantly, but it’s important users know what they are signing up for.
“Everyone needs to explain [terms and conditions] in a way that people understand what they are agreeing to,” Karahalios said.
Facebook also has privacy default settings that allow the network more access to users' information.
“The defaults really matter and how you set those defaults is critical here, especially given that less than five percent of people change them," Karahalois said.
Other personal information can come from apps people download on their phones.
“We download so many apps on our mobile phones, so maybe doing a spring cleanup can help," Karahalois said.
Even with Facebook in the hot seat, she said it doesn't mean changes will be made, but the company should take a step back and listen to its users.
“Facebook needs to listen when we are screaming that we don't want this," Karahalios said.