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Friends, there’s something you should know about Facebook.
It knows everything about you.
Like, evvvvvvverything about you.
Think about it. You already share a LOT with your various social media networks. Some of us are on practically every platform under the digital sun (guilty as charged: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, ETC), and we feel pretty aware and in charge of what we’re putting out there for all to see. But while you’re updating statuses and stories and posting intimate details of your personal life with your circles of “friends,” you’re not just letting *people* into your home – you’re letting random, unknown third parties into your home, too.
This article opened my eyes big time to Facebook’s changes. Because yes – Facebook has changed. Back in 2007 when I got on the FB bandwagon, my parents were craaaaaaazy big (in the best way) about privacy, and making sure that no one could just randomly find me on the internet and stalk my life. Turns out I’m a blogger now (sorry mom and dad!), so that’s out the window. But there was still some comfort in knowing that the really important stuff – ie. credit card information, actual geo-pings of actual locations, etc. – was private unless you updated your status with your checking account and routing number.
ICYMI, since reading fine print of lengthy statements doesn’t fit within a 15 second video Snap, here’s what you might have missed in skimming the privacy piece of Facebook.
Facebook collects ALL of your information.
- They know and store everything you do and all information you provide.
- We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide, such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. We also collect information about how you use our Services, such as the types of content you view or engage with or the frequency and duration of your activities.
- They track what *others* do and keep information others provide…about you.
- We also collect content and information that other people provide when they use our Services, including information about you, such as when they share a photo of you, send a message to you, or upload, sync or import your contact information.
You don’t have control over who shares your contact information…but Facebook gets it regardless. Even if you’ve done everything you can to, for example, keep your cell phone number private, the moment your bestie shares it with another friend online – even if it’s just to be in touch about an upcoming party or to share details about a group project – Facebook now has and keeps that information.
- They spy on the groups you’re in, the networks you keep, and the connections you make.
- We collect information about the people and groups you are connected to and how you interact with them, such as the people you communicate with the most or the groups you like to share with. We also collect contact information you provide if you upload, sync or import this information (such as an address book) from a device.
Fine and dandy if it’s keeping people safe…or is it? Even “secret” groups get tracked. I’m sure this has its benefits if/when something awful occurs, but do we recognize how much power one social media platform has here?
- The crowd favorite – They keep your credit card information on file.
- If you use our Services for purchases or financial transactions (like when you buy something on Facebook, make a purchase in a game, or make a donation), we collect information about the purchase or transaction. This includes your payment information, such as your credit or debit card number and other card information, and other account and authentication information, as well as billing, shipping and contact details.
Not only do they have your credit and debit card numbers, but they know your billing address AND shipping address. And that’s essential to them…why? Is Facebook planning on dropping by my doorstep with a personal check for part of their equity? No? Then they don’t need my credit card number.
- They track any and all devices that you use to log into Facebook – and therefore know where you are at any given moment.
- We collect information from or about the computers, phones, or other devices where you install or access our Services, depending on the permissions you’ve granted. We may associate the information we collect from your different devices, which helps us provide consistent Services across your devices. Including…- Attributes such as the operating system, hardware version, device settings, file and software names and types, battery and signal strength, and device identifiers. – Device locations, including specific geographic locations, such as through GPS, Bluetooth, or WiFi signals. – Connection information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, browser type, language and time zone, mobile phone number and IP address.
Even if you’re not logged into the app, if the app is installed…they’ve gotcha. Because they can tap into your Bluetooth while you’re driving to your grandma’s house. Casual.
- Information from websites and apps that use our Services.
- We collect information when you visit or use third-party websites and apps that use our Services (like when they offer our Like button or Facebook Log In or use our measurement and advertising services). This includes information about the websites and apps you visit, your use of our Services on those websites and apps, as well as information the developer or publisher of the app or website provides to you or us.
When you’re logging into a news app via your Facebook account, or your favorite shopping website or game application, do you know what THEY are providing to Facebook? Because turns out, it’s legal.
- Information from third-party partners.
- We receive information about you and your activities on and off Facebook from third-party partners, such as information from a partner when we jointly offer services or from an advertiser about your experiences or interactions with them.
Facebook has SO MANY third party partners.
OH…and Instagram is owned by Facebook. So they get all of the above. BUT WAIT, there’s more! Facebook owns all ten of these companies, too. And you guessed it…
- We receive information about you from companies that are owned or operated by Facebook, in accordance with their terms and policies.
- Vendors, service providers and other partners.
- We transfer information to vendors, service providers, and other partners who globally support our business, such as providing technical infrastructure services, analyzing how our Services are used, measuring the effectiveness of ads and services, providing customer service, facilitating payments, or conducting academic research and surveys. These partners must adhere to strict confidentiality obligations in a way that is consistent with this Data Policy and the agreements we enter into with them.
Whose payments are we talkin’ about here? Again…is Facebook coming to my doorstep with a check? No? Then why is my credit card information potentially being shared with unspecified third party partners? I don’t give a flying you-know-what if these companies “globally support Facebook’s business” or not. I want – strike that, I need – to know if/when my personal information is being transferred to someone else.
Luckily, there’s a safer alternative.
MeWe is going against the apparent social media grain by refusing to claim any of your information. They acknowledge outright on their homepage that your personal information is just that – yours.
- We do not spy, track, or share your data. Your personal information and content is yours – not ours. Share anything and everything: photos, videos, voice messages, disappearing content, mail, chat and more.
You have total control over who can see any content you post, so there are zero creepy stalkers or strangers trying to reach out to you and connect – they won’t even be able to *find* you to connect in the first place (not even through backdoor requested direct messages).
You’ve got multiple options…1:1 communications or private groups. You can make a group open to anyone joining…but you have total control over that and know going in exactly who can see what. There’s also an option for saving and managing content in a personal cloud storage. #blessup
You’ve also got ZERO ADVERTISEMENTS. Don’t get me wrong…I’m a marketing gal, so ads don’t bother me as much. But isn’t it a nice concept…a social media platform built around connecting with friends – and that’s it? No side motives for monetization and profitability (yet), and no tracking of everything you visit. As nice as it sometimes is to be reminded of that bag you wanted to purchase…it can also feel pretty intrusive when your ASOS shopping cart starts re-appearing on your FB newsfeed.
When I first heard about MeWe, I was skeptical. A social media platform that doesn’t track everything you do or say?!?!?
I tooke the MeWe challenge: Is your social media stalking you?, input my social media presence, and BOOM. Any tracking cookies from the respective social networks are revealed. I know cookies in and of themselves aren’t necessarily harmful at all, but I think it’s still unnerving just realizing how much of what you do online – in the most innocent way! – is tracked and traceable.
Why is it in today’s day and age that we just accept all of the tracking and take it as being pretty normal and part of how it all works? We’ve already gotta be on our A games justincase a boss or future employer scrolls back to the days of foam parties and red cups – and now we’ve gotta worry about who else in the whole wide world on the world wide web knows not just who we are, but where we are, how to contact us, how to charge us for something, who our friends are, and whatever else is in the fine print?
At least MeWe keeps it simple. You make an account, you join a group if you’ve been invited to one, you create a group if you want to create one, you chat with your friends, and if you want to see any ads or have any data of yours collected, kept, and/or shared….well, you’re in the wrong place.
For anyone interested in trying it out, I created a group that you can join! If you’re a life and/or style blogger or any combination of the above, or if you just lovelovelove following along with CUR and might be interested in seeing other great similar content, too, you’re cordially invited. Only criteria: must have a positive attitude. Click on the big pink button below to join!
Have you joined MeWe yet? Did you know all of the info Facebook keeps?
I’d love to hear your perspective on this, especially since it’s a bit different than what’s normally around these rosy parts. I was just so shocked upon really reading all of the security disclosures that I couldn’t not share – I figured I wasn’t the only one who missed a few biggies! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, or feel free to shoot me an email anytime!
And P.S. On a totally unrelated and waaaaaay happier note, the easiest giveaway ever is happening on Instagram right now, and you could win $50. It’s so easy. Almost TOO easy. Have you entered?