Last year Facebook was dragged before a senate committee hearing regarding privacy. The founder Mark Zuckerberg was challenged with questions regarding how Facebook keeps user records private, and how Facebook is able to access personal data beyond it’s documented reach. What does this mean?

In several videos, and in independent tests, it appears that Facebook as an application installed on your phone was granted by default (unless the user changes the settings) ability to access the phone’s microphone and the camera. Per Facebook, this is for items such as auto tagging what a user is listening to while making a post. The videos where people test this show something far more nefarious though. By placing a phone with the Facebook app installed near them, people intentionally discuss an item that they have never discussed or searched for. As an example, “taking a trip to South Africa”. Note that the Facebook app is simply installed, not running as an application. Lo and behold, the users start getting advertising for flights to South Africa, tourism trips in South Africa, etc. This is disturbing enough, but add in the actual privacy practices of Facebook….

Facebook sold private data to Cambridge Analytics, and that data was leaked. While the data in this case was not worse than say, the Equifax breach, it still shows a disregard for data privacy.

If Facebook is recording your voice conversations if you are near your phone, and is capable of selling that data that they store, could you be at risk? Client confidentiality breach? Trade secrets? Even if you didn’t intend to reveal that data to Facebook, they have it. And if they intend to keep it private, they can’t guarantee it.

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