February 2023 Event Recap
In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. From connecting with friends and family to building professional networks, social media platforms offer a wide range of benefits. However, this increased usage of social media has also raised concerns about data privacy. With personal data becoming a valuable commodity, companies often collect and share this information without our knowledge or consent. In this blog post, we recap our February event and explore the issue of data privacy in the context of social media – as shared by Nick Myers, CEO & Co-Founder of RedFox AI. View the replay here.
Social media has had an immense impact on society; allowing people in disparate areas to connect as if they’re in the same room, allowing information to disseminate at almost-instant speed, and unlocking educational opportunities, and opening the door for entrepreneurship and small business growth. Those benefits have come with some growing concerns, especially in the area of data privacy. This concern transcends generations with 60% of Millennials and 55% of U.S. Adults believing their smart phone is actively listening to them.
One of the biggest data privacy concerns in the context of social media is the way in which companies collect and use personal data. Social media companies often collect a vast amount of information, including personal details, interests, and online behavior that can be tracked across devices and applications for indefinite periods of time. With people spending more and more time online, the volume of data collected has grown exponentially. The average amount of time spent on social media nearly doubled in the last decade, growing from 90 minutes in 2012 to 147 minutes in 2023.
The risks and consequences associated with data privacy are not just limited to individuals but can also affect society as a whole. For example, social media platforms have been used to spread fake news and propaganda, which can have a significant impact on elections and democratic processes. This was experienced first hand with Cambridge Analytica. Additionally, the misuse of personal data by social media companies can lead to identity theft and other cyber crimes.
The question is – how do we balance the convenience of social media with more data-privacy controls being put into the hands of consumers?
Nick offers three paths forward:
- Government Regulation – currently only 5 states (CA, CO, CT, UT, and VA) have any data privacy regulation.
- Corporate Responsibility – companies have a responsibility to protect and value the privacy of users.
- Personal Responsibility – understanding what data you’re consenting to provide and how its used across different platforms.
Ultimately, the most effective way to protect personal information is to be mindful of what we share online. This includes being cautious about the type of information we post, who we share it with, and how we interact with social media platforms. We can also make use of privacy settings and third-party tools to manage our data and limit its access by social media companies.
As a wrap, Nick shared his 4 Basic Privacy Principles everyone is entitled to as consumers using social media:
- Transparency – users and data protection agencies have a right to know how their data is collected, used, and shared in an easily accessible manner.
- Consent – users have the right to give explicit consent versus implicit, prior to it being tracked.
- Limited Collection – users have the right to only have needed, required data collected for a specific purpose and then have that data removed.
- Control – users have the right to easily access, fix, transfer, and delete their data.
In conclusion, data privacy is a crucial issue in the context of social media. As individuals, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with the collection and use of personal data by social media companies and to be a voice for change in the fight for consumers to have more control over their data.
Thanks to SMBMad board member Jess Bahr for writing this month’s event recap.
Chrysalis is a nonprofit in Dane County that promotes mental health and substance use recovery in our community by supporting work opportunities that encourage hope, healing, and wellness.
On Tuesday, March 7th they will be participating in Community Shares of Wisconsin – The Big Share, Online Day of Giving to support their impactful services. During The Big Share, they will be hosting their first ever Chrysalis Storytelling Event centered around stories of Hope to reduce stigma, and build a community of wellness. Hope is something we all desperately need right now as our communities continue to see an increase in mental health and substance use challenges.
Connect with Chrysalis on social media: