Social media scandals and privacy breaches have been on the rise recently. Celebrities and public personalities are not the only ones falling victim to such incidents; regular internet users become prey to identity theft and online scams almost on the daily. Not to mention that with every technological advancement developed and introduced for our usage, external entities get more and more access to our personal information — including biometrics — with our full consent (without us knowing it).
The major player
Facebook, being one of the major tech companies that gather user data, has often been the subject of speculation and criticism when it comes to privacy. If you'd remember, the social platform created by Mark Zuckerberg caused outrage among the public in 2018 when it was exposed for sharing its users' data with other tech firms like Amazon, Spotify, Microsoft and many more. And while they did defend their actions by saying that, technically, it is up to the users to 'allow permission' to these third parties to gain some access to their profiles, their vague policies and non-restrictive approach to this privilege were also called out by many as being partially at fault.
Then, earlier this year, they were forced to shut down their Research and Onavo programs after being exposed once again, but this time for secretly paying teenagers to gain root access to their phones for 'market research'. This is in line with a similar program Apple ran in June 2018 and was shut down in August of the same year, in which the company running the program can get all of the traffic, activity, and access from their research subject's smartphone.