Social Networks & Us & Our Privacy

As we enter a new era marked by social networking, the importance of security and privacy of information has risen exponentially.
Privacy – Ah! How safe it sounds. How it allows you to sleep comfortably at night (and for most geeks than jocks, during the day). But, is ‘safe’ the right word to describe the current sphere of social networking? I doubt it. Present day social networks believe in the equality of all those that are a part of your network. One of the underlying principles of the same is sharing. The amount of privacy offered on social networking sites which thrive on the concept of sharing is highly debatable. Since the whole foundation of such an industry is to share with others to the maximum possible extent, privacy inevitably takes a backseat. Share as much as you can, as much as you can possibly imagine, with no strings attached, create your digital self and assign it a username and protect it with a password. Protect what’s not yours. Yes, you heard it right. The data is not yours, if not ethically, then legally for sure. And though “it’s complicated” as to who really does own that data, in almost all the cases, it’s not you for sure!

  • Data meant to be private should remain private!
  • Data meant to be shared, should be shared.
  • Data meant to be shared with specific people should be shared with specific people.
The three mantras are worthy of a mention and are the basic philosophy that should be followed in practice for any social networking site.
How often does one read the terms and conditions for an iPhone app before downloading? How often does one read the EULA (End User License Agreement) before investing in a cloud computing vendor? As end user security is compromised using fine print, privacy is no longer personalized. Or is it? Behold the arrival of a new era of social networking where you’re sold what you’re being told!
MyCube, the vanguard of this new era, is a Singapore based startup, and underlines the importance of privacy, ownership and control, by offering the end user an opportunity to share information across the web, but also offers them complete control of whom to share it with, when and on what terms.  It stands firmly in the belief of the user being the proprietor of his/her data. No one but the user shall have the privilege of deciding the terms and conditions for the data he/she shares. (Sounds like sense to me!) This is in fact very logical. As information is mined off these websites to generate customized advertisements for revenue, the security risks being posed are far higher than we can imagine. Big social networking giants mine data from a user’s profile, which is in many cases is sold to an advertising firm compromising the ownership of the data. After all, an organization is making money on the basis of information that a user uploads on his/her profile is unethical and downright wrong.
Information today is freely available. Critical information shouldn’t be, unless, the author wants it to be. Here at MyCube, anyone who’s anyone can share personal data, be it pictures, videos, articles etc., give it away for free or charge for it in terms of ‘cubes’. And the user can attach payment values as low as a cent– this payment technique devised by the MyCube developers is termed ‘nano-payment’.  And there you go, the onus of sharing and its extent of visibility becomes the responsibility of the owner and this allows strict monitoring of the information by the owner. This novel idea effectively negates most of the prominent issues regarding the security and privacy of information and could well be the way of the future. TnC coupled with digital monetization is a step ahead for assurance of being secured. With MyCube ‘privacy’ shall mean privacy again.
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