Facebook and the dangers of data processing

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Those who surf the net always leave traces. Sharing information about age, favorite music, popular brands and more also leaves a giant footprint, which translates into data provided on a daily basis to the giants of Silicon Valley.

In Facebook’s privacy policy (subject to changes since the entry into force of the RGPD and the latest events) it was written that Facebook not only owns the rights to all the images that you publish on its platform, but also to public profile data ; practically a digital dossier, which he can sell to his partners.

Many users do not perceive this as a problem: indeed, it is estimated that about a quarter of users are happy with the processing of personal data for advertising purposes, which translates into personalized advertising, as these make the search for consumer goods ever easier.

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However, everyone should be aware of the fact that the storage and sale of their data always carries the (high) risk that those same data will end up in the hands of criminals. Among other things, users often have no idea and even less control over the circulation of their data on the network. Even the simple download of an app often guarantees the right (without our realizing it) to track contact details and details relating to the Internet connection. These data are particularly coveted by companies, which through their sale can earn money in a very short time or badly use them to target users in a targeted manner with advertising.

Among other things, personalized advertising is a relatively harmless use of personalized data: when the so-called social engineers have your data at their disposal, in fact, the danger is much greater; they are in fact the scammers of the new era: social engineers delude their victims of being able to get hold of their data or their savings. The most used methods are those of seizing a false identity in order to gain the trust of their victims through deception. Often they present themselves as belonging to some type of authority (for example by bank officers or members of the law enforcement agencies) or pretend to be friends or relatives, hacking a profile and writing to their contacts.

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A special variant of social engineering is baiting: the provider requests your email account login data in exchange for phantom free downloads of various types of files, thus gaining access to your account. Quid Pro Quo is a method by which scammers intend to offer certain services or information, if the user follows their instructions or if he provides access to technical data.

An example: the scammer pretends to be an IT company that offers a quick solution to recurring flaws in a given system; it then requires the victim to disable the firewall and install an update. This update later turns out to be a virus or spyware.

Phishing attacks, on the other hand, target the fear and trust that people place in the authorities. For example, when it comes to form and text, many phishing emails are inspired by those from reputable banks or service companies. They also have links to websites that resemble those of the institutions they claim to be a part of. If the victim provides their data, they are forwarded directly to the cyber criminals. Another possibility is that of identity theft, in which case the criminals use your personal data to make purchases or commit crimes.

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