What are the Laws about Social Media Privacy?

It is essential to read the privacy settings for each social site and other websites and create all your pages as private. Don’t give all your personal information on your social media profiles.

Social Media Privacy

Facebook, WhatsApp, dating apps like Grindr, and Tinder, and other social media platforms collect voluntarily our data like your name, age, employer, relationship status, and where you live. Also, even if you deactivate your account, the information you share online may be permanently recorded. So, I think these privacy laws will be important to your privacy. Read more! 

Explaining about social media privacy laws

Federal and State social media laws

There are several federal laws to protect social media privacy including The Communications Decency Act (CDA) and The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Furthermore, some countries have taken some laws to better protect social media privacy, including:

  • Laws requiring the enactment of security measures
  • For hacking, laws imposing liability and criminal punishment 
  • Laws requiring notification for data leakages

Right to be forgotten laws

You can request to delete your information from certain Internet sites and platforms through the “right to be forgotten” provisions in the E.U. Then, anyone can not be harmed by the disclosure of irrelevant or outdated information and it is the hidden objective of these laws. 

Social media privacy laws in the workplace

There is legal trouble surrounding privacy violations of employees with an increasing social media presence in the workplace. 

Recently, state laws ban employers from these activities:

  • Requiring or requesting user names, account passwords, or login credentials from job applicants/employees 
  • Requiring an employee to add another employee, manager, or administrator to their friends or contact list of the social media account
  • Requesting to change the privacy settings of the employee

Social media privacy laws for protecting children

Concerning the disclosure of online data for children under the age of 13, COPPA is the governing law. According to this law, sites that target children can’t collect personal information about a child without first providing written notice of the site’s revelation practices and getting parental consent. However, there are no social media rights for children under the age of 13.

Why is social media privacy essential?

Just as I mentioned below, social media companies can collect user’s personal and sensitive data from user accounts. Some of these user’s info is shared willingly through posts and profile information. Through tracking cookies, which track the information of a user’s online activity, including web page views, social media sharing, and purchase history, information can also be released. So, it is very important for social media privacy to protect our data.

Data types that social media may collect from us

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms can collect our personal data including interests and locations using tracking cookies, geofencing, and cross-site tracking. Even if your account is private, social media companies can collect our sensitive data, including:

  1. Share content such as videos, images, and other content
  2. Profile information including name, phone number, email address, location, birth date
  3. Status updates, work life, and relationship events
  4. Your personal interests 
  5. Engagement on social media including your friends, comments, likes, shares, and messages
  6. Employee information, current or past jobs, online business
  7. Personal references including age, race, and gender

This data can be important for getting surveys, interviews, reviews, feedback, preferences, and complaints.

Common social media privacy issues

With a large amount of social media account data, anyone can find enough information to spy on users, steal identities, and attempt scams. Other social media privacy issues including below:

  • Data collecting for identity theft

A scammer can find more information, such as leaked passwords, social security numbers, and credit card numbers only using email addresses or phone numbers.

  • Privacy setting loopholes

Social media accounts may not be as private so it is a risk to share all your information via these social media platforms. 

  • Location settings issues

Location app can easily track your whereabouts. So, it is a risk to your life.

  • Harassment and cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a widespread criminal among teenagers and youngsters. 

  • Malware and Virus

It can deliver Malware and viruses through social media platforms. 

Tips for protecting your data 

  1. Use a strong password always
  2. Avoid public devices
  3. Use a password manager for you
  4. Use multi-factor authentication
  5. Be careful what you post on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms (don’t post your personal info such as location, email addresses, sensitive information, and workplace)
  6. Always disable location services from your device
  7. If you use social media for business, create separate accounts for your personal use and business use
  8. Don’t click unknown links
  9. Block unknown or unfriendly accounts without sharing your information
  10. Update privacy settings

Bottom line

Finally, it is essential to read the privacy settings for each social site and other websites and create all your pages as private. Don’t give all your personal information on your social media profiles. And, without reading privacy policies, don’t accept them blindly! 

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