Bulldog Bark

What Instagram Is Doing With Your Personal Information?

Teens+on+their+phones%2C+unaware+of+the+fact+that+Mark+Zuckerberg+is+selling+the+information+they+put+up.
Teens on their phones, unaware of the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is selling the information they put up.

Teens on their phones, unaware of the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is selling the information they put up.

Sofia Culotta

Sofia Culotta

Teens on their phones, unaware of the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is selling the information they put up.

Max Neuberger, Contributor

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With all the recent scandals about Facebook stealing its users’ information, profiling them based on their interests, political views and recent searches, and selling this access to your personal information to third party advertisers and companies to turn a profit, one question has been on every teenager’s mind:

Who still uses Facebook anyway?

Yeah, not too many kids might be as concerned as their parents or grandparents who still frequent the site. Besides, we still have Instagram don’t we? A perfect replacement for Facebook’s old, information-stealing social medium, right?

What many of the teenagers who are writing the scandal off as something they would never have to worry about might not be too aware of, is that Instagram is owned by Mark Zuckerberg, the same man who owns Facebook. They have rolled out new privacy changes to alleviate the blow they’ve taken due to Facebook’s recent downturn and their loss of billions of dollars.

However, the changes made were not rolled out to their other apps- namely, Instagram and WhatsApp.

 

Of the South Broward High School students  questioned about their concerns over their information being stolen, most didn’t seem to care. But maybe these students don’t quite understand how these third parties are using their data against them.

What Facebook, Instagram and other apps who collect your data do is build a profile of you.

This profile includes things such as your interests, your political views, and whatever your recent searches are.

They then sell access to you, not necessarily your data itself, to advertisers and companies who could turn a profit off of you.

It all comes down to money.

Zuckerberg, the man behind the apps, (who is currently giving a testimony before Congress defending Facebook’s use of their user’s information) gets his pay by selling other companies access to your personal information.

 According to news.sky.com’s article on the matter, the third parties that buy your personal information target ads and certain results from searches, as well as figure out which way you lean. They use that as a way to influence you towards whatever product or service they’re selling.

What many people may not understand is how pervasive this theft of information really is.

They know your name, age and gender, your phone number, where you live, your buying habits, and what you’re interested in buying- sometimes even before you do.

They know your political views and biases, your orientation, where you’re from, where you’re going, and what you do every day- even if you haven’t necessarily made an Instagram post about these things, according to an article on quertime.com.

All of this info is being sold to data broker companies. The ones who pay millions in order to obtain access to you, who in turn target you directly and specifically for whatever ads or search results they want to put in your online field of view.

Are you okay with these social media companies taking your data and turning a profit?

Or does the knowledge of this theft that’s happening right under your nose shift your perspective?

 

After reading this article, vote on the newest poll on the Bulldog Bark, and be mindful of your actions on the internet. You never know who’s watching.

About the Writer
Max Neuberger, Contributor

Max is a senior at South Broward High School, who joined journalism because his academic strength lies in writing. He enjoys hanging out with friends on the weekend, and being on his phone 90% of the time. When he’s not alone or at a friend’s house, Max likes to read adventure books and play video games and soccer. He likes most kinds of music in general as long as it’s not techno, and the worst things in his life are bugs and math. He aspires to be a journalist in the future.

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What Instagram Is Doing With Your Personal Information?