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January 2017

Are we trusting social networks too much?

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This article in our Royal Holloway Security Series sheds an often uncomfortable light on the privacy risks people incur by using social media, and offers advice on how to minimise those risks.

Table Of Contents

  • Matthew Bailey, author of The Complete Guide to Internet Privacy, Anonymity & Security, once said: “If an internet service is free, you are not the customer, you are the product”. This quote is a wake up call for many social network users, and sadly it is the truth.
  • Data collection and its analysis is at a massive scale, allowing social networks and search engines to build thorough profiles of users.
  • This report looks at the privacy policies of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+/Google to determine their adequacy in protecting user privacy, and finds that these social networks use their own definitions of what constitutes personal data versus public data.

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