Facebook Privacy Issue Assignment and Solution

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Facebook Privacy Issue Assignment HelpFacebook Data Mishandling

Your thesis statement may not refer to yourself, your paper, or your readers. Simply state the point that your paper will argue or demonstrate. Your outline must have an introduction that includes your thesis statement, two or more supporting main points with at least two pieces of evidence (statistics, data, or source quotes) for each of those points, and a conclusion that sums up the main supporting points and restates your thesis. Your annotated bibliography must include a citation, a summary, an analysis, and the relevance of at least four scholarly sources.

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Facebook Data Mishandling


Facebook is regarded as the world's largest social networking site which serves more than two billion customers all over the world (Choi& Land, 2016). In this digitally driven economy, users are facing numerous security threats such as data mishandling, data breaches, identity theft, and ransomware attacks. Among these threats, the social data mishandling for the commercial and political purpose have recently increased on a mass scale. Facebook is responsible for providing security to user's private data against unauthorized used and criminal activity. Recently, it has been found Facebook is used as a medium to influence the election by influencing popular opinions. Using the personal information of Facebook users without their consent or knowledge violates the legal law of the nation(Choi& Land, 2016). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the responsibility for allowing malicious third parties to gain access to user data (Lapaire, 2018).

The intention of the present research paper is to analyze the reasons for Facebook data mishandling activities and their consequences. For analyzing the data mishandling on Facebook, there will be a detailed study on, "Facebook user's data mining for commercial purposes"; and "Facebook data privacy scandal by Cambridge Analytica". In addition to this, the research paper will address the loopholes existing in present settings of Facebook design that are making user's data prone to be mishandled.


The first step used to retrieve information from databases such as Google Scholar and the university portal. Further, information was collected from the literature review and peer-reviewed sources. The filtering criteria used for selecting articles are based on the year of its publication (from the last 5 years). This approach will help to avoid outdated as well as biased information, to be incorporated in this context. The different keywords that have been used to find articles from Google scholar ‘advantages of social media', ‘disadvantages of social media', ‘Facebook security issue', ‘Facebook data mishandling' and ‘Facebook and Cambridge Analytica'.

Final selection and filtering has been done by reading the title and abstract section of the article. All the collected literature from different sources when compared and contrasted among each other, to reduce data discrepancy. The point of view, research findings, and conclusion of different authors were analyzed and provided as secondary research in this report.

Research questions

The primary research question that will be addressed in this work is the mishandling of user information on Facebook. In this consideration the research highlights identified by Cambridge Analytica will be discussed, as it is highly relevant to the identified issue.

Data Mishandling

Social networking sites like Facebook have billions of customers and there is billion dollars incomeby selling the database of user's personal information(Tsay-Vogel, Shanahan&Signorielli, 2018). Users are providing far more accurate information while creating their account and this data are being mishandled for commercial purposes. In early 2018, it came to the knowledge of public that Facebook user's personal data have been harvested by firms such as Cambridge Analytica (Revell, 2018). Data mining is basically done for developing potential voters profile, or marketing purposes from the breached user's profile. The major concern is that these firms not only collect information of people who make their profile public but also of those who are friends with those people. This increases the data breaching cycles including a number of associated users.

In 2013, Dr. AleksandrKogan, a professor of the University of Cambridge created an application known as "thisisyourdigitallife" which offers Facebook users a personality quiz. After downloading the app, it automatically start collecting users personal information such as ‘profile data' and ‘Facebook activity'. Furthermore, the model of the app is designed to collect sensitive personal information such as sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, political views, intelligence, and the use of any addictive substance. Approximately 300000 people downloaded this app which unknowingly collected their data. However, the data collection did not stop here and it also collected the data of the user's friend who had the privacy setting as 'allow it'. In this way, the app breached data of 87 million people (Cadwalladr, & Graham-Harrison, 2018). Further, the data collected by Dr. Koganwas passed on to Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting and strategy communication firm. The firm used those data to analyze personality traits and behavior of voters. This data is further used to assist conservative campaigns to target the online advertisement. Hence the transfer of data from Dr. Kogan to other third-party firms violated Facebook terms of service. According to the terms and condition of Facebook, it is prohibited for the transfer or sale of personal data to any data broker, ad network, monetization or advertising-related service. Facebook learned about this criminal activity in the year 2015 and demanded the deletion of data from Dr. Kogan and Cambridge Analytica. According to the International Electrotechnical Commission and International organization for standardization, this incident does not qualify under data breaching (Isaak, & Hanna, 2018). However, the data of millions of people have been mishandled which is not less than data breaching. There are fewmore such incidents in 2005 and 2007 which breached Facebook privacy setting and accessed the personal information for commercial purposes. In the congressional hearings, it was made clear that the Facebook business model is dependent on the app developer's access to the user' data for targeted marketing, which makes their 90% of business revenue. It was then concluded that its business model conflicts with the standard privacy policies(Mohaisen, Al-Ibrahim, Kamhoua, Kwiat&Njilla, 2017). However, according to the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, they are planning to prevent such type of data misuse in the future by deliberately incorporating the protection contained in the European Union's General data protection regulation.

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There is involvement of confluence of reasons which made it possible for third parties to gain access to user's personal data. These factors include (Palmatier, & Martin, 2019): (i) Little or no oversight of the Facebook developers will be involved. (ii) Users blindly agreeing to overly broad terms and conditions. (iii) Developer's abuse of Facebook API. (iv) Inadequate safety criteria against the firms involved in data harvesting(Singh& Singh, 2017). Furthermore there exists important consideration that must be included in the settings that can protect individual information from being prone to be misused. These consideration mainly includes, if everyone use the "My privacy" feature to control their account privacy. Likewise, it is also important to consider, if Facebook is doing adequate job for protecting and securing personal data of its users. In conjunction to the privacy policy of Facebook, it is important to consider, if they provide sufficient security-related information. Lastly, it is critical to access if the requirements for modification in the Facebook privacy setting for enhancing the security aspect is requisite, according to the current data threat scenario (Kanampiu&Anwar, 2018). These consideration require further assessment and in-depth analysis.


In summary, the intention of the research is to analyze the security aspect of Facebook from third parties companies. From the research, it is evident that Facebook developers have not taken any strong action regarding this issue until now. Hence, the consumer should be educated to use social media platform like Facebook wisely and responsibly. They should read the privacy contents and gain the advantages of product user control provided by Facebook. Moreover, Facebook's should also provide higher control and transparency to users to protect their privacy against fraudulent data handling practices. Overall, it is believed that the information that has been elucidated from this research work will be helpful for the users in managing their Facebook account safely and securely. 

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