One of the smartest decisions Facebook ever made was to purchase Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. The social media giant recognized then that photos were going to be the future of its business. And that’s why the company makes it so simple for users to upload pics: Facebook can analyze them to gather a ton of data about us. That makes the decision for parents to post pictures of their kids so fraught. And at least one prominent tech entrepreneur, CEO of data privacy firm Ethyca, is warning users against it.
In an op-ed for AdWeek, Cillian Kieran wrote that he recently removed all pictures of his children from Instagram because he doesn’t trust Facebook with them. He encouraged users to think critically about two factors: how much of their data is being collected right now, and how this information could potentially be put to use in the future.
“The information we expose about ourselves or our children may not seem relevant today, but allowing any company to accumulate a pattern of your child’s behavior or facial characteristics from birth to early adulthood is a treasure trove of data that, in decades to come will be mined, analyzed and exploited in ways even engineers have not yet considered today,” Kieran wrote.
Removing everything from your profile may seem like an extreme step, but it’s not totally off base. In general, the less of your data you give to Facebook, the stronger your privacy.
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