The privacy lesson people won’t learn

I want to give you guys a heads up about something I’ve seen going around on social media lately, but I also want to put it in context of recent events.

The recent Facebook data furor that resulted in Mark Zuckerberg being hauled before Congress for questioning has really irritated the heck out of me. Why? Well, I guess it’s because I’ve been writing articles for literally years now (Five or so to be exact) warning ya’ll that when you use apps play games, take quizzes,, you’re giving those people access to your data. It’s right there in the agreement for the using them. If you’ve ever taken a quiz, played or used anything like the app we’re talking about today, just assume that any company that ever bought data, has yours.

That’s the cost you’re paying for “free” apps, “free” email services, “free” social media platforms. That’s why I wanted to talk about this post. It looks pretty innocuous and promises to tell you what your loved one in heaven has to say about you.


While I know that seems like it could be of great comfort, what this actually does is offer up information about you and your Facebook friends to the company that created this quiz for the purpose of collecting data. When you click on it, this is what you see:


Once you log in with Facebook, you’re giving these people access to you and your friends’ public Facebook data as well as your photos, locations, events, and even your email address.


You’ll notice that there’s an Edit this option. You can go in and remove some of the data, but not all of it.  Because I don’t see why these people would need access to my photos or my locations, or my friends list, do you?


And you’re giving them some very important info about yourself, you’re telling them who in your life has passed away.  How can that data be used? Well, if these people were unscrupulous, it could be used to search for accounts to clone or hack. Or to help determine what your passwords might be or to even target you for some kind of scam.  I know words like these could be comforting to read, but I’m sure you know that these are just randomly generated quotes and not messages from beyond.

In reality, it’s kind of a callous way to harvest information from the grieving. So think twice before you play into it, please?


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