SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE
FUTURE OF PRIVACY
By: SarahTipper, JuliaTytula, and Gursharan Singh Mahal
Social Networking Sites Selling
Information toThird Parties
Huffington Post, 2014
• Some social media sites have started selling information about their users
to third parties.These third parties take personal information that has been
shared with users friends and families, and use it to try to advertise to
specific people better.This may seem harmless, but knowing that your
personal information is no longer personal at all can be quite frightening.
Examples of Companies Selling Users
Information toThird Parties
• Facebook makes money by selling information about your friends, hobbies, age,
relationship status, etc.
• Google uses information from Gmail’s, things you’ve searched, etc. to make money from
• Twitter uses “tweets” to make a profit
by selling the popular ones to advertisers
• YouTube targets ads based on videos watch
• Pinterest is legally allowed to sell names,
numbers, email addresses, and third parties
• LinkedIn has a new “Pro” option that
charges users for a feature that tells
them who has visited their page and what they thought of it
• Tumblr has sold its users’ information toYahoo!
• Facebook has released that they sell personal information to advertisers, developers and
• Personal information posted on Facebook by users is being shared with millions of
• When Facebook users “Like” something, information is given to advertisers
Facebook Logo Detail, n.d
• Where does Google’s Money come From?
• Google made an estimated $36.5 billion through advertising in 2011
• How does Google make it’s money?
• Google sells information from users anywhere from a Google search to information inside a
Google is Evil, n.d.
• Twitter sells promoted tweets to firms interested in learning more about
• Twitter generated $32 million licensing its data
• Once firms have purchased information fromTwitter, they resell the data to
• LinkedIn sells information to its own users, offering to show them who’s
viewed their profile.
• This feature is called the “Pro” feature.
selling information back to users.
Logo for Linkedin, 2013
• It is not known specifically what is sold
• But the company is able to sell any information it collects, such as:
• Phone numbers
• Email adresses
• And more
• Tumblr sold all of its information toYahoo!
• Tumblr is a blog style website where users often feel it’s appropriate to
share extremely personal information to their readers
• Giving a magnitude of personal information to one of the internet’s largest
corporations many are considering a huge breach in user privacy
Logo forTumblr, n.d
• YouTube has converted over to target marketing.
• This is controversial becauseYouTube has to sell information about what
users are watching to companies to show Ads that directly targets each
• Google has emphasized that this service is only done onYouTube.
• Before a user can access a social network, he or she must read and accept a
• It is understood by social networks that most users neglect to read these
• This allows for social networks to put controversial statements in their policies
• This takes the legal responsibility away from social networks
How to ProtectYourself
• Full names when signing up for social media sites
• Using your everyday email account when signing up for social media so that it won’t be
spammed with junk mail
• Using these social media sites all together if you are very concerned about your personal
information being sold to larger companies
Internet Security, n.d.
• Information found online has been used against people in court because legally law
enforcement is allowed to have full access to anything online
• You may be turned down for credit or insurance because these companies have access
to your online information
• Users have no ability to know where their personal information has gone or where it is
• Large internet companies have been able and will continue to sell your personal
• There are many ways to protect yourself from these companies and keep your
• Ultimately the best thing to do is properly educate yourself on the user agreements
before signing your life away
Google is Evil. n.d. Evil Google logo. Retrieved from http://images.seroundtable.com/google-is-
Facebook Logo Detail. n.d. Facebook logo. Retrieved from
Huffington Post (2014). Social Media. Retrieved from http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-05-
Hendricks, D. (2014). Social MediaTips. Retrieved from http://drewahendricks.com/wp-
EvilTwitter Logo. (2012).Twitter Bird with Horns. Retrieved from
Logo for Linkedin. (2013). Linkedin Logo. Retrieved from http://www.nitahelpinghand.net/wp-
Logo forTumblr. n.d.Tumblr Logo. Retrieved from
Law. (2013). Gavel picture. Retrieved from http://www.everything- taxidermy.com/wp-
Internet Security. n.d. Lock and earth. Retrieved from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-
Andrews, L. (2012). Facebook is Using you. Sunday Review. Retrieved from
Luckerson,V. (2013). Twitter is Selling Access to yourTweets for Millions. Time. Retrieved from
Marshall,G. (2013). Trusting your private data to Google is like trusting your chickens to Mr Fox.
Techradar. Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/trusting-your-
Retrieved from http://www.hive76.org/linkedin-is-selling-your-clicks-and- violating-its-
Hotspot Shield. Retrieved from http://blog.hotspotshield.com/2013/06/2 5/social-
Kiss, J. (2009). Google introduces targeted display ads on sites includingYouTube.
Theguardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/m
(2014). Fact Sheet 35: Social Networking Privacy: How to be Safe, Secure and Social.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Retrieved from https://www.privacyrights.org/social-
Social Media Users
How our online privacy is non-existent
to the Government.
For years the Government has been spying on our online lives, invading our
privacy and taking our personal information.The police is using our daily feeds
as evidence in cases, proof of our whereabouts, and digging up dirt on our
personal lives. No need for permission, a reason, or a warrant, everything online
is there for them to see. Everything you post on the internet thinking its safe
and private, just chatting with friends, you where wrong!
Government Using Social Media to Spy on
• Section 5 (1) of the Privacy Act dictates that “a government institution shall,
wherever possible, collect personal information that is intended to be used
for an administrative purpose directly from the individual to whom it relates
except where the individual authorizes otherwise or where personal
information may be disclosed to the institution under subsection 8(2)”,
which states that “a government institution shall inform any individual from
whom the institution collects personal information about the individual of
the purpose for which the information is being collected.”
Government Using Social Media to Spy on
• Avner Levin, director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute at Ryerson University
states that "Our government, as a liberal democracy, has to justify why it's collecting
any kind of information”
• When we post things on the internet and social media sites we are giving public access to
our private live according to the government and they believe they should have just as
much access to this information as everyone else.
• David Christopher, a spokesman with OpenMedia, a community-based organization
dedicated to protecting online rights, said "When we share on Facebook, we think we're
sharing with our friends. We don't think we're sharing everything with some faceless
government bureaucrat in Ottawa using our tax dollars to snoop on us“, “It could also be
used for law enforcement or shared with other government departments”
• Interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier says "we are seeing evidence
that personal information is being collected by government institutions
from social media sites without regard for accuracy, currency and
• In April of 2014 Bernier's office revealed that various government agencies
have made almost 1.2 million requests for personal information about
Canadians from Canada's major telecom companies, often without a
FBI, DHS, Pentagon, Fed using social media for spying,
Online Police Investigations
With all the Social Media traffic, we as users are making it easier and easier for
the Police to catch wanted suspects.With just a few clicks and searches, the police
can find anything they want.We as social media users post updates, talk to friends,
and post pictures and videos thinking its all private and just between friends. Little
do we know, we have a few spies on our page.
Though how can the law enforcement make sure they are getting credible
information. Some people post things only to show off, of course, many people lie
online, which can all lead to potential false arrests.
Arrests due to Secret Police Investigations
In the past few years multiple suspects have been caught in Collier County, Florida,
because of their social media activity.
• 30-year-old Brandon Perry was arrested for battery in Collier County after he allegedly
bragged about beating up his neighbor on hisTwitter page.
• 27-year-old Hector Carrion for GrandTheft. Detectives he posted a picture of puppies for
sale, proving he stole a pregnant pitbull and tried to sell her litter online.
• 22-year-old Seth Runyon was on probation, making it illegal for him to have a firearm.
Deputies arrested hi after he posted a picture of himself with a 9mm handgun on Facebook.
And this is only the beginning, many of these people were not even suspected of a crime
until they posted it on the internet. So now you may ask, how were they found?What made
the police look them up? Does this mean everyone is being watched?
Reality of Law Enforcement and Social Media
With all the recent and growing social media activity, tracking down criminals is becoming
easier every year. "When you post something online, you really do so at your own peril," says
Collier County Judge Robert Crow. Social media is helping law enforcement crack down criminals
because of their lack of realization that the internet is anything but a private place to talk.
Everything you post can be use to convict you of a crime or help the police track you down, take
for instance this robbery case which reached a dead end. One detective decided to check if he
had Facebook, of course he did and his profile was completely unsecured. He had updated that
he was at a local club, with no surprise he was apprehended at the club.
Police Reaching Out to Social Media Users
Law enforcement officials are not only spying on us and looking through our
private information. They are reaching out to social media users to do the work for
them. For example, in Albany, NewYork it was announced by Governor Andrew M.
Cuomo that the NewYork State Police will set up a Facebook account to reach out to
the public.There Facebook page will have post like:
• Occurring crimes in the state
• Missing persons
• As well as information on wanted persons which encourages the public to inform
the police with and leads.
Law EnforcementViolate Laws to Get
Though not all forms of obtaining information is done legally, even by law
enforcement officials.As Christina Sterbenz at Business Insider reports, “It's no secret
cops use social media to monitor the public, but it might surprise you that they create
fake Facebook profiles to nab criminals — in direct violation of the website's terms of
service”. “More than 80% of the responding officials said social media was a valuable
tool for crime-fighting and that “creating personas or profiles on social media outlets for
use in law enforcement activities is ethical.””
The NYDP is okay with the idea and is encouraging this concept, the so called “alias”
must be registered before use. So it is okay for law enforcement to break social media
privacy laws but not the rest of the public?
Law EnforcementViolate Laws to Get
• The NYDP even goes as far as using pictures of young women in their aliases, in
order to spy on criminal as reported by the NewYorkTimes.
• By using these aliases, the police believes that they can get clues of the
whereabouts of “potential” criminals.
• In a 2012 survey, of 1,221 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies n New
York, four of five admitted to using social media for investigations.
• Though these “aliases” are in direct violation of Facebook’s terms of service, which
states that users may not "provide any false personal information on Facebook, or
create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission."
Social Media Investigations Spreading
This is not only a growing issue in North America, using social media in order to
catch criminals is a spreading topic. Police departments all over the world are not
turning to social media as a device to solve crimes.Though this can be a useful tool,
some crimes are just “stumbled upon due to peoples lack of intelligence as in these
• A man in India was recently arrested for trying to sell his grandson on Facebook,
• A woman in Oklahoma was arrested for trying to sell her children via the social
• A teen was taken into custody after bragging about a boozed up hit-and-run on
• A British man who stole $130,000 of jewellery and had fled the country later
returned to the U.K. using a different name, but posted pictures of his return online
and was tracked down.
Social Media Being Used Positively
Yes, the government and law officials may be spying on us to gather information,
but it does have a positive side to it. In cases of large organizations such as the
Olympics, social media is used to keep everyone safe and stop any illegal activity.
Keywords used on the internet would be used to alert the police of any possible
conflict. Police presence would be then increased in those areas. If anyone were to
plans something on the location of the Olympic stadium or its city, law enforcement
would be notified and precautions would be taken. On many occasions, this tactic
was used to prevent conflicts from arising.
Indeed the government may be spying on us, the police may be disobeying laws
to get to criminals, our privacy may be invaded, and no one would even have to find
out, and of course the occasional false arrest. In the long run though, the idea of the
government breaching our privacy isn’t for any no good reason.
Due to this breach of privacy, criminals are being taken off the streets, cold cases
are being solved, and surprisingly, thanks to the internet, the world has the ability of
becoming a safer place. Not only this but thanks to the large police activity online,
we as users can be informed of potential dangers we can encounter not only but in
our own neighbourhoods.
Privacy and Jobs
Employers “googling” their future employees.
Internet is an interlink between different servers all around the world. The DNS-driven
World Wide Web, the overlay which we surf today was officially launched in 1983.
More specifically the first TCP/IP WA network was came operational on January 1’1983.
Originally it was a university network constructed by NSF(National Science Foundation) of
United States of America which later became NSFNet
On a bigger margin it was renamed as World Wide Web and the first website was
launched in March 15’1985 as SYMBOLICS.COM.
A website is like a front view of a server(computer) just like a house and it is rendered
using different web development languages which is presented using an internet browser
such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
As internet itself is a network of different computers where everybody is connected
similarly to designate users identity social media came into play.
Social media is users participating in social networking using websites and
applications to create or share content with each other.
Most popular social networking websites:
• Facebook launched Feb’04 (Personal/Social Networking)
• Twitter launched Mar’06 (Fan Following)
• LinkedIn launched Dec’02 (Professional Networking)
• Pinterest launched Mar’10 (Business Ideas)
• Google Plus+ launched June’11 (Social Networking and Identity Service)
Other websites are
Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flickr, Myspace, Meetup, etc.
SOCIAL MEDIA MASKS OFF APPLICANT
HR of companies frequently go through applicant Social Networking profiles
What they are most interested in verifying:
• Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or
• Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs.
• Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients.
• Candidate showed poor communication skills.
• Candidate made discriminatory comments.
• Candidate lied about qualifications.
• Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer
What FaceBook checks provide employers
Facebook after all the privacy options available on social networking profiles still shares
some information to the 3rd parties such as employers, Social media analysis
corporations, government, etc.
• Candidate’s publically shared statuses denoting thinking patterns and thoughts
• Candidate’s publically shared pictures denoting daily activities
• Candidate’s travelling history
• How much time he/she spends on FaceBook
What LinkedIn checks provide employers
LinkedIn shares employees one kind of bio data which allows them to connect to other similar
professional in or around their professional network. If LinkedIn accounts of users/applicant profile
shares some information publically then it would be:
• Candidate’s Education Summary
• Candidate’s Professional Experience
• Candidate’s past professional projects
• Candidate’s recommendations by professionals denoting how they performed when they
worked together into some projects
• Walk-through through candidate network connections ad group they follow
Skills of applicants and endorsements other professional made which they may be
• Different Languages they speak and their language levels
Photo sharing also have a story
In jobs related to photography, movie shooting, modelling photographer, etc. applicants
provide their photography portfolio but social photo sharing profile s addresses an extra
look to applicants profile.
Photo sharing profiles examples are Instagram, Flickr, 500PX, PhotoBucket
• Show’s candidate presence of mind while shooting pictures
• Presents a big image about applicant’s skills
• Also shows editing skills
• Also describes their online buzz and fan following over the internet
• Sometimes it describes how much safety and disciplined applicants were while taking pictures
• Also points out candidate’s attraction towards specific topics and aspects of photography
Different Blogs over the internet such as personal websites, WordPress,
Tumblr, Blogger etc. describes applicants interest and projects they worked
which also links to their online projects such a websites . Online question and
answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers such asW3Schools,
StackOverFlow, StackExchange, adobebc, etc. also have a lot to say
• Specific technical knowledge aspects about programming languages
• Presents how applicants answers to different problems
• How applicant approaches solutions
• How much ranking and rating do they get back from other students and
professionals on the network
What Employee Rights Restricts :
• Candidate’s Birthplace, ancestry, ethnic, place of origin
• Candidate Sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status
• Candidate’s age
• Candidate’s Race, Color
• Candidate’s religion, creed
• Candidate’s education (e.g. questions that denote age, place of origin,
• Candidate’s disability
• Candidate’s membership in other organizations
The following categories have restrictions on what can legally be searched
by an employer
Employers Cyberbullying Employees
• Cyberbully is an aggressive, unethical and inappropriate sense of behavior
that happens repeatedly with the bully feeling a sense of empowerment
• Online Shaming is a form of cyberbully, it is defined as “the violation of
someone’s privacy with the express purpose of humiliating the targeted
person through discredit
• Employers out there expressing their feelings towards their employees is an
act of online shaming
• According to Stats Canada, 7% of adult have been a victim of cyber-bullying
at some point in their life
• -The most common form of cyberbullying in a workplace is through email,
text messages, and the internet
• - Online shaming or any other forms of cyberbullying is a disgrace and a
violation to our identities
• - Bullies performs such act, in hoping to show power towards the victims
The Past, Present, and Future of Employment
• Couple of decades ago, technology was not as commonly used as today, thus jobs were
more hands on, and physical
• Some of the jobs back before the internet become popular were librarian, railroad and
transportation workers, FedEx/UPS delivery, and teachers
• Nowadays, jobs such as app developer, gaming designer, market data researcher, social
media manager are becoming more popular and higher in demand due to the technology
• As of right now, there are companies out there hiring people just to search through their
online profiles and social networking sites
• Assuming this trend continues, the future of employment that will be high in demand will
involve careers more on the technological side such as social media manager, and app
developer (Future Jobs)
• The use of technology is constantly evolving, and trying to pop our privacy bubble which
new and innovative ways
• As technology continues to advance, employer will find new, easier, and faster way to do
background check on future employees even though it is violating their privacy
Privacy of Social Media
Most popular social media in today’s society are Facebook,Twitter, Google Plus,
LinkedIn,Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram
• According to CBC News, 68 percent of students believe that if a website has
• Many social media users are not aware of what kind of information a 3rd
party user can obtained even if their privacy settings are on
• User risked their identities being used by posting information on social
networking like Facebook andTwitter
• Cyber footprint is constantly being tracked by social media.
your cyber footprint
• Clickable links on social media may contain malware that will steal all your
information from your computer without your permission
How Employers should research
Be coherent. Employers should do social networking research to check all job
applicants for all positions or they should not use it at all.
Tell applicants in advance that they will be looking on internet and at social
media sites as part of the application process.
Assign someone who is not the top decision maker as the social media
researches help to ensure the decision making and does not know about legally
Decide what information about applicants you are looking for online and provide
your social media researcher with specific instruction on reporting back this
information only. (such as employer history, any negative work related post, etc.
Do not access any applicants' social media profile or webpage through venal or
Consider the accuracy and validity of the information before making any
EmployeeTips for safe social networking
Facebook,Twitter, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social networks have
become an crucial part of our internet browsing. Social networks are a great way to stay
connected with others. Employees should be aware about how much personal information
they post online
• Once posted on internet, stays on internet – Be careful while posting anything
• Online Reputation can be a good thing – Be honest while sharing something
• Keep your personal information personal – If you can’t keep your secrets to yourself,
don’t expect others to do different
• Manage privacy and security settings carefully –These settings were made for a reason,
be sure about what you share and with whom you do
• Manage and know friends and people in your network – Unknown and fake identities in
network are like spies and scams
• Never post anything negative –Writing wrong describes you personality and your
• Don’t post unauthorized stuff –Things such as employers concealed information about
upcoming or future products
• Use pseudonyms on virtual world – there have been cases of young players getting
molested in real world due to giving hard time to others players virtually.