Facebook’s Dark Secrets
What might seem like a harmless social media website can turn out to have dark consequences on one’s privacy. Facebook, a social networking site which currently has more than 2.2 billion active users, may seem like a fun tool for sharing and connecting with friends, but the security and hacking risks that come with the website have to be taken seriously.
Facebook’s recent scandal is one that impacts us the most- 50 million Facebook accounts were breached in a security flaw exploited by hackers, in a revelation by Facebook on Friday. Among the 50 million accounts comprised in the hack, various users were logged out of Facebook in Pakistan as well. The damages of this data breach go beyond just Facebook- it also includes social media sites connected through Facebook, such as Instagram.
The massive violation of privacy and security that is enabled through this breach cannot be ignored in Pakistan, who is estimated to have around 13 million Facebook users. If access tokens, which provide uninterrupted and unreported access to accounts, were taken, than that means the hackers can fully control the account, including private posts and pictures; unaccounted-for use of pictures and data by imposters constitute a huge security risk and privacy breach. Phone numbers, addresses and credit card information for business activities are also compromised, and in a country with terrorism, this breach could have much darker implications.
With the rise in technology, and thus cyber crimes, the state needs to adjust with the times and enact measures to protect social media users from violations of privacy. Consumers should have a legal channel to claim damages for breach of privacy. While the prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) does accommodate these problems in some way, there needs to be more far-reaching reform to address international level breaches like this.