You are on Facebook and can't recall or remember whether you have created a profile really on it. This is the situation when you are quite confused. What is this? A fake profile? A shadow profile. How does Facebook store our personal information? In survey, it is found that some government agencies like National Security Agency in the US use several tools to get data from social networking sites like Facebook and we don't have any control to make it private.
Now the question is how Facebook has such private information? Lets start from beginning. When you create an account with email address and phone numbers, Facebook keeps these information together to identify you later on. Unknowingly Facebook stores all the important information about you in their database. So your private data is stored alongside all of these details you never knew Facebook has already collected about you.
This is called the "Shadow Profile". This is the reason why you must have a shadow profile created whether you use it or not. Facebook repeatedly says that they don't collect information about the people who don't use Facebook. But, is it the real scenario?
Spooky Thing :
Hope everyone of us has seen the message "People you might know" feature of Facebook. may be you worked with a colleague long back or might be a mutual friend who doesn't have your email address and phone number. Then how Facebook suggests us to add them? Is it a simple "Find Friend" feature? Not at all, this is done by your shadow profile.
Even the "Find Friend" feature has the details about your past company or address or phone number or an email address. With the help of these information Facebook creates a shadow profile of you just to make a connection to you. So when you find some old colleague is there in the suggestion message from Facebook, you can consider that any one or more information is matched with that particular profile either the address or the phone number connection etc.
Facebook says "“Find Friends uploads contacts from your device and stores them on Facebook’s servers where they may be used to help others search for people or to generate friend suggestions for you and others.”
Once you both are connected, Facebook searches for more and more matches with the information from both of your profiles.
Is It An Ethical Way or Legal?
If you ask us then we would say "Yes!". Because when you open an account in Facebook we normally don't read the TOS thoroughly and accept by checking the box within a second. In a survey, it is found that very few people read the details in the terms of services. Eventually we only do give Facebook the authority to keep our personal information too.
Facebook says : “We receive information about you from your friends and others, such as when they upload your contact information, post a photo of you, tag you in a photo or status update, or at a location, or add you to a group. When people use Facebook, they may store and share information about you and others that they have, such as when they upload and manage their invites and contacts.”
Some people who are not using facebook obviously think that it is not legal and some may take it in other way. It doesn't matter what people think but the fact is that our private information is shared publicly.
What If You Friend Shares And How To Stop It ?
It is true that the information shared by any of the person who knows you in real life or a friend in Facebook. How to stop it? Well, there is no specific way by which we can stop it except preventing the information to be shared by your friends who know the information, store the date electronically, or have updated some information in Facebook. It is also possible that your email address is navigated by the Gmail account of any Gmail user to whom you have sent email or received and email from that account. As a whole, somehow and somebody has updated your information in Facebook database.
How To Keep Your Data Private?
Below suggested steps would help you to keep your email address or phone number private :
- Should not call or email to any unknown person.
- Share your information among the close and trusted people.
- Ask your friends not to update your phone number or email address in Facebook application running on smart phones.
- Ask your friends not to share your information with other people without your knowledge.
What Is Your Scope Here?
The best thing is to make possible changes in settings which will worth maintaining your privacy on Facebook. As a conclusion, this post doesn't say you to delete Facebook account or making it read only profile but it encourages the users how to make your facebook profile safe, secure and private over social media network.