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What if your "Like" on Facebook is doing much more than you think?

The 21st century is called The Information Age. In other words, information is the most important thing in this era. Information can also function as a resource – our personal information may seem very personal, but it is also important. Personal information is freely disclosed on popular SNS. We must be alert to this and realize that the personal information we reveal is being used as statistical tools in society without our knowledge. The following is a detailed article on this.

Wait a minute! Did you ever think that the "Like" you just pressed could be doing more than just secretly expressing your love interest? What if your "like” button can determine your ballot result? Actually, these examples have happened. Facebook gave its users a small incentive to download the “This Is Your Digital Life” application. Although it appeared as a harmless personality-testing application, it was an individual propensity analysis algorithms program that was ingeniously designed for political purposes.

Developed by the data company, Cambridge Analytica, when downloaded, the app provides developers with data such as location information, a list of Facebook friends, and content that users clicked Like buttons on. Through this data, the company analyzed users’ social issues and political issues of interest, as well as their consumption tendencies. The personal information of as many as 87 million users has been improperly obtained by the app. Christopher Wylie who participated in the app development, exposed the fact Cambridge Analytica has been illegally collecting personal information. He disclosed the information because he felt a sense of crisis when thinking about illegal use of users’ personal information and how it was used for political agendas. Wylie’s disclosure had a profound effect on the safety of personal information on social media.

Not only Facebook but also other social media outlets began to put protection of user's personal information first. It is quiet shocking to know that SNS, which we use daily, is actually leaking our personal information. How are we supposed to react to this? How many young people who are in their twenties will consider their own personal information as something valuable? There is a belief that the most precious resource in the 21st century is not fossil fuel but personal information. This shows how personal information is becoming more and more important. Therefore, we should be aware of the fact that using SNS means that there is a chance of leaking our personal information. It is possible to prevent personal information from leaking if the users know who has the right to access their personal information. Also, they should carefully check the content of the application updates on privacy to protect their information further. Unless we use SNS with caution, just like the Facebook issue, our own personal information can be abused. We should not use social media just for fun but should take caution when taking in information and downloading numerous applications, so that the “Like” we press to show our love interest can remain a secret.

Chung Minkyung  jeuzero@naver.com

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