Marketers use social media sites like Facebook and such to target and gather info about the teen market. Cool if you’re selling a product to that audience. Not so cool if you are a parent of a teen and are wary about him or her giving away too much personal data and risking privacy, safety and security.
Teens under the age of 13, technically aren’t even allowed on the site per Facebook’s Terms of Service, yet parents buckle to pressure from their kids or let them on for the limited purposes of playing Facebook app games. The thing is, after they’re on, they are less likely to be aware of giving away their privacy.
Stanford computer science professor Monica Lam, who created the social chat app, Omlet [www.omlet.me], has identified four ways that teens give away their privacy and empower teen marketers without even knowing it:
1. GIVING UP RIGHTS TO PERSONAL CONTENT
Facebook actually “owns” any family photos, messages, and unique ideas that you create and post on the site or via its app.
2. EMPOWERING MARKETERS BY “LIKING” THINGS
With its “likes” functionality, Facebook allows marketers to target you based on the people and things you associate with yourself. Every time you like something, you are giving a bit of privacy away.
3. SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT FRIENDS
By using Facebook to login to other websites, you’re unknowingly sharing much of your friends’ private and valuable data with third parties (and your friends could be sharing your data, too).
4. TAKING QUIZZES THAT STORE PERSONAL PREFERENCES
Any time you take a Facebook quiz, you’re potentially making public a little bit more about yourself and your personal tendencies.
Lam create Omlet as an alternative to social networking and messaging services that store and monetize your personal information. The app allows teens and their parents to chat with friends, share photos, post videos, take quizzes, and express themselves without fear of their data being sold or breached. Teens retain complete ownership and ultimate control of their personal data and can choose to store their data wherever they like (including using popular services like Dropbox).
It’s but one among many apps that are working to give social media users back some control over their data and privacy.
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt can be heard nightly at 8pm on DCRadio/WHUR 96.3HD4 on "Coming to America with Wayna and Friends. She is an editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the Digital Publiching Academy and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!