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There Is No “Privacy” When It Comes to Social Media

by Jenny Sussin  |  January 19, 2017  |  Comments Off on There Is No “Privacy” When It Comes to Social Media

You’d think after enough political and celebrity scandals this would be obvious to everyone, but alas it’s not.

A social analytics vendor that I’ve spent time covering over the years had come under fire last year for what was being referred to as “citizen surveillance.” They’ve definitely suffered the consequences, but I still can’t help but be baffled that people don’t realize that what they’re sharing is on a public forum.

I’ll be completely honest with you – and many of you know me personally so this won’t be all too surprising – those briefings from that vendor were always my favorite. I could NOT believe what people not only shared publicly but then they #hashtagged it and geo-tagged it. CRIMES! I’m talking about full on breaking of the law: posing with stacks of money, drugs and guns that were being tagged, by the person, “#money #drugs #guns” and all I could think was #butwhytho?

I was speaking with a vendor this morning who made an interesting point in the course of talking about the data they’re collecting from social networks: a single “like” on a piece of content could generate 100 data points. One hundred different things, that organizations are searching for on social media, could trigger alerts based on your one, off-handed “like.” Cue Hall and Oates…

Now to give social networks credit, they’re trying to help you a bit. Twitter and Facebook jumped into action when the ACLU went after the aforementioned vendors for violating citizen rights by cutting off access to their feeds. Facebook got rid of its public profile API so now organizations only see “trend” data…aggregate, anonymized data. LinkedIn only allows access to your profile data and activity if an organization is willing to pay for it through one of their enterprise apps for sales or recruiting purposes – and now they’re doing trend data a la Facebook as well.

So what are consumers to do? Well, some of them use messaging apps as their primary means of engagement to try and get some privacy, but the Iggy Azalea/Nick Young/D’Angelo Russell Snapchat saga and the “Texts From Your Ex” Instagram account (way too inappropriate for me to share) show that “privacy” these days would mean going completely off the grid a la Ron Swanson.

What’s the lesson here? Choose your friends wisely. Be just as selective about your activity on social media as you are in person. Set your social media profiles to “private” if you want them to be private. And remember: the internet isn’t free.

Category: privacy  social-crm  social-media  

Tags: facebook  media  privacy  social  social-media  social-networks  twitter  

Jenny Sussin
Research Director
6 years with Gartner
7 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Research Director in the ITL Enterprise Software group of Gartner Research, with primary focus on social for CRM. Read Full Bio




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