Our Say: The dangers of putting your life ‘out there’

The fallout from the Facebook data mining scandal is yet to be determined, but there is one thing for sure – and that is that it will change the way a lot of people allow their information to be viewed.

The background is this. 

Data mining company Cambridge Analytica has suspended its chief executive Alexander Nix after he was caught on hidden camera allegedly bragging about manipulating elections.

He told an undercover journalist he effectively used the information from 50 million Facebook accounts to target political advertising in aid of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the White House.

What we can take away from this, is that these big internet companies know more about us than we’d like to think.

Yes it’s a great reminder when a friend has a birthday and we all love to see those photos from years gone by - the group hug, the smiling baby.

But, at what cost to our personal security.

We live in an era where young people think nothing of putting their whole life out there for everyone to see, where privacy may as well be a foreign concept.

The more concerning thing about this whole Facebook dilemma is that the system worked exactly as it should, at least where the company was concerned.

That’s because while privacy settings will stop everyone else from seeing your data, the company sees it all. 

They know who you associate with, where you go, what you like doing.

Remember those Facebook memories! (Did I even put that photo online?)

It may sound all “big brother” to people, but it’s something worth taking into account when you’re interacting with friends and family.

We live in an age when the internet can be used for good and evil. Society has seen the impact of online bullying.

Thankfully, society is starting to take it seriously.

This latest incident should serve as a reminder to be careful when revealing everything about yourself online, because once it’s out there it’s harder than you think to do anything about it.

Various past incidents have shown the risks … an indiscretion in someone’s past will come back to bite them. It can happen to anyone.

Once it’s in the public domain – it’s there for good.