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Expert Compares Facebook's Terms Of Service To Safety Deposit Box That's Neither Private Nor Secure

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With the Facebook data scandal, users are left wondering what, if anything, can be done now?

KDKA sat down with a computer science expert for the best tips to protect your information going forward.

"The genie has already been let out of the bottle, the can of worms has been opened, the horse has left the barn," said computer science expert and Duquesne University Professor Dr. Patrick Juola.

Now, making progress is difficult, according to Juola. For him, the recent scandal came as no surprise because of Facebook's terms of service. Juola compares it to a safety deposit box that's neither private nor secure.

"Yes, we will provide you with a safety deposit box, but, oh by the way, we can help ourselves to the contents of your safety deposit box any time we feel like it," said Juola.

Assume anything you share is fair game for the whole world to see.

"Facebook can do more or less whatever it likes with your data, including telling anyone it likes, regardless of whether you're friends," said Juola.

What's more?

"Facebook can't necessarily guarantee the security of the data it holds," according to Juola.

Going forward, Juola recommends the following best practices:

1.) Deleting your account (but remember Facebook will still have your data stored), OR
2.) Limit what information you share with Facebook, AND
3.) Do not use your Facebook account to log in to other websites (companies make it seem convenient, but it's really a way for them to tap into the data Facebook has gathered).

"It's bigger than Facebook, because there are so many companies that have discovered they can make so much money off of knowing everything about you," Juola says.

He hopes our congressional leaders will take action to legally limit the amount of information social media companies can gather.

"There are some real teeth in the HIPPA laws. If you accidentally leak health information you can be fined a huge amount. I'd like to see something like it for social media," said Juola.

Another suggestion Juola has for lawmakers is to make it a crime to misuse social media data.


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