Privacy Please

Privacy Please After our class discussion last Tuesday I went home and reflected on everything we spoke about. I thought about how great social media really is and how it has helped me stay connected to friends, family, school events etc., but one pet peeve that has been bothering me for some time are the privacy issues that arise.    In a post Snowden world where we have no idea who is tracking what, the question of privacy and self -protection alarms me.   These days anyone can access what you post online if you do not take the steps to protect yourself.  Employers can look into your personal life now more then ever before and I ask is nothing sacred?   Why should an employer have the right to judge you on your off hour activities or lack there of.  I  recently heard a story that people were not only judged on over activity on the social network but also under activity.  I find this ridiculous, and a bit unfair.  If someone isn’t into posting on Facebook or Twitter, does this make him or her a bad employee?  I recently watched an interesting video on pbs.org entitled Can Your Employer Fire You Over a Facebook Posting? It spoke about how companies can in fact access your social media pages and reprimand or even fire you if you post something they question.  Yes there is some protection in place and many situations are being fought out in courts currently, but it’s still a gray area.  One situation that stood out to me was the story of the police officer who friended someone he used to know in high school.  That friend happened to have a criminal record, and the policeman was disciplined by his department.  I find that to a little silly and there has to be a line drawn somewhere.   Currently the police officer is fighting this battle in court. With my concerns in place I started to dig into my own Facebook page.  During my investigation I noticed that my personal page was not only open to my friends but many of my pictures, groups, and likes were open to the general public.  Anyone could type in my name and see pictures that either I posted or friends tagged me in.  Since this was a concern I decided to contact Bruce Warren who agreed that getting to know the privacy on Facebook could be a full time job and turned me onto the Facebook privacy settings page: https://www.facebook.com/help/445588775451827 https://www.facebook.com/help/459934584025324

When I opened the page my head began to spin, why was this so hard and confusing?  And why is it so easy to post things but so difficult to set up privacy.  I read an article entitled Is Facebook’s Privacy Policy Too Confusing?  by Therese Welsh of usnews.com.  In the article, Mark Zuckerberg’s own sister Randi had privacy issues of her on when a personal photo of herself was leaked on Twitter by Callie Schweitzer.  Randi and Mark were very upset by the matter and it really makes me wonder who is in control?  I mean if the Zuckerberg family can be infiltrated, who is safe?  The picture that I attached below was from a poll taken where 92.3% of users feel like the privacy settings on Facebook are too confusing. Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 4.49.02 PM I suggest that you be careful in what you decide to share because you never know who is watching.

This is a good segue into the final topic I wanted to discuss.  I read an article entitled Don’t expose yourself so much on social media by Scott Kleinberg of The Chicago Tribune.  Kleinberg spoke about how when you are using Social Media, you are really putting yourself out there so be careful with what you decide to post.  If you over share you can give away your location, who you are with and what you plan on doing with the rest of your night in a matter of minutes with one click of the button.  The article suggests that you familiarize yourself with the privacy settings put in place and be very cautious with your account.   The best advice I could give is be smart.  We live in a very connected world these days but we don’t have to stay connected 24/7.  One of my favorite buttons is the off button or the sign off option.  Social Media is a very great resource but it’s not perfect, it never will be because it was created and is used by humans but there are steps that we can take to become a smarter social network user.

-Joe Lavin

About thedigitalclassroom

My name is Joseph Lavin and this site is dedicated to exploring the innovation of the digital classroom.
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