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Improper handling of data privacy can lead to legal issues

Advances in social networks and digital marketing have greatly changed the way we interact through these channels. Companies and platforms require more and more data from their customers or users to adapt to their demands and needs.

Through this information it is possible for Facebook to suggest new friends to you.Instagram gives you the option to register the place from where you make your publications and even some networks can alert you when you need to buy some products from your usual market list.

Having information of interest about users or customers allows you to know them better. to offer them a better service. It also implies a greater responsibility as the handling of this data must be performed in a responsible and ethical manner.

When registering in a social network, the user is aware of giving away information about himself/herself. In this sense, he is willing to receive advertising and to speed up his web searches in a certain way. However, they are not always fully aware of the scope of data management and the consequences of the loss of transparency and ethics in this action.

The case of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

When limits are crossed, legal repercussions can be costly. This is what happened with Facebook, the most popular social network today, when it was put on trial after the lawsuit filed by the United States and the United Kingdom regarding the collection of private information of the network's users by several companies to develop electoral campaigns and political propaganda.

Data collected by Facebook fell into the hands of the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. in 2015 and include names, phone numbers, email addresses, political and religious affiliations, and other interests. It was counted that the company managed to access the information of more than 80 million users through tags of people in posted photos. All these photos were scanned by the DeepFace program, which worked to match users with each other and thus determine the identity of each one.

Will Facebook compensate users?

The possibility that the digital platform may have to compensate users financially affected was the decision of a federal judge in California, United States, who admitted the class action lawsuit of Facebook users, considering the fact as a violation of the law of the state of Illinois, where it is a crime to collect and store biometric data without prior consent.

So far this is the case related to data security. that has gained so much legal traction. The corresponding Illinois law establishes a payment between $1,000 and $5,000 for each case of use of personal image without prior authorization.

Some believe that Facebook may have been misled as to the use that it subsequently would give the information. However, it is blamed for not acting responsibly to protect the data of one million users in the UK and more than 70 million people in the US. Most of the data was used in the British EU referendum and the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the plaintiff suggests.

Sources consulted