Are privacy settings really private?

Before writing this post I decided to google my name. We’ve all done it at some stage just to see what appears. Fortunately my name is rather common; due to the location settings on my phone, the more ‘popular’ Hannahs in the London region were the first results however, that doesn’t mean to say my information isn’t out there for everyone to see. My Facebook profile has very little privacy, it didn’t take me long to find myself and read through every piece of information I’d written. That then made me think about who else could access this. At some point or another everyone has looked up and ex or work colleague or friend just to see what they’re about (likes/dislikes, hobbies, pictures) but we never take a second thought as to who is doing this to us. I have pretty much my whole life online on some platform or another but sticking to Facebook there is little I can do to stop access to my information. Under the privacy settings we can adjust posts so only friends or friends of friends can see your profile but this doesn’t stop the likes of Facebook itself to rifle through my personal details. I understand that when you sign up you agree to these T&C but it makes you think, are your privacy settings really stopping people who you don’t know viewing your online presence?

Photos especially are a grey area in social media. You’d think that once you have taken a photo, you’d be the rightful owner of this but once it is on an online platform, they immediately gain some rights to the image. Is this abuse of our personal rights as a human being? I think in some ways it is over hyped. I can see why some disapprove of this, when you sign up to a site you expect a certain level of privacy, you join the online community to socialise with friends and feel safe so the idea that people can access your personal life is daunting. However, in some cases I do feel if you’re that concern, you should just avoid posting personal information. Once you agree to the company policies you are giving up, to some extent, your privacy rights.

i feel the main concerns for me comes from who can take my information. It’s unbelievably easy to forge an account and essentially create a new persona online. I belise¬†something shound be introduced in the future to verify Facebook accounts and stop fraud.


  1. Are these companies right to manipulate us into not knowing what privacy policies we are entitled to? Embedding them in lengthy terms and conditions is their way of making sure we are unaware of what we have entitlements to online – it makes me question whether there should be an easily accessible FAQ page on each social media site regarding our privacy. A human right to know.


  2. Checking somebody online is a natural thing for our generation. However, as you said, we never think about ourselves and the information’s which we share online. The fact that somebody can easily check my profile make me feel uncomfortable, but I know that sometimes I’m doing this to somebody else.


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