Protecting your personal information in the age of Cambridge Analytica

Harrisburg

There was a lot of outrage after Cambridge Analytica was accused of collecting personal information from millions of people without their permission through Facebook. However, people shouldn’t be surprised because other companies are using the sme technique and most get your permission. 

Even when you setup privacy controls your information could still be exposed. 

“Would you walk up to a stranger on the street and tell him everything about you personally not knowing who this person is or what they might do with the information? And that’s the way you need to treat technology,” said Ronald Jones, a cyber security professor at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. 

Apps like Pandora frequently ask users for permission to access your contacts, microphone, storage and location. They share that information to other parties. Users have to opt in to give Pandora permission to get the information but other Apps automatically turn the access on and users have to turn it off themselves. 

“These companies technically have done nothing illegal but have they been good stewards of our personal data? Uhhh probably not,” said Jones. 

Jones said there are two things you can do to protect yourself:

1. Read the Privacy Agreement 
2. Check the settings on the App after you download it. 

There’s a catch with some Apps when you start tweaking with your privacy settings. Some Apps won’t let you use the program or will limit your access. 

So you have a decision to make. 

“Make the moral decision ‘Is this what I want to accept and have people use and know about me?’ If the answer is yes have fun with the applications. If the answer is no I want to be a private individual I don’t want the world to know everything about me then don’t use the app no mater how much fun,” said Jones

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