WTVM Editorial: 04/16/18: Your privacy matters

WTVM Editorial: 04/16/18: Your privacy matters

(WTVM) - When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about private data breaches, he was asked if he would like to publicly disclose the hotel he was staying at and if he would share the names of everyone he messaged that week.

Not surprisingly, the man who expects us to share all of our personal data on the platform he invented, declined to share his. In fact, Zuckerberg is famous for guarding his own privacy.

That should give all of us a reason to re-think how much of our personal data we're willing to give away.

When you check your Facebook feed to see pictures of your friends' vacation, and then you take a quiz, or you see a great product to buy online, as soon as you do, you are most likely sharing not just your data, but all your friends' data, too. And not just to Facebook, but to so-called third-party apps that re-sell your data, which can travel the world and end up in some very scary places.

Congress may eventually get around to regulating Facebook and other social media platforms, but we can't rely on government alone to solve the problem of our online privacy.

A recent News Leader 9 web poll asked, "How do you feel about using Facebook following the data compromise?"

41 percent said "I'm indifferent" about it. 46percent said "I no longer use Facebook," and only 13 percent called themselves "loyal users."

It's time to take responsibility for our own online privacy and security. Some of it's pretty easy to do. It just means we have to get involved by looking at our own privacy settings.

On wtvm.com we have a story that explains how to specifically remove third-party apps that are pulling your personal information from Facebook.

It's also smart to revisit your privacy settings on any social media app to see what information others can see.

As our online world keeps expanding, over-sharing is what Facebook is banking on.

But we need to learn not to share quite so much, just like Mark Zuckerberg himself.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

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Columbus, GA 31906

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