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Facebook and Instagram gather vast amounts of user data.

Title: Data Collection Practices of Social Media Platforms: A Closer Look

In today’s digital age, concerns about privacy and data collection have become increasingly prominent. As social media platforms continue to gather user data, questions arise about the extent of this practice and the security of personal information. A recent study by Surfshark sheds light on the data collection practices of major platforms, highlighting the differences between Facebook and Instagram compared to their competitors, such as Twitter.

Data Collection Practices of Facebook and Instagram:
According to Surfshark’s report, Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, stand out by collecting all 32 data points analyzed in the study. These platforms gather personal information like names, addresses, and phone numbers, which are used to track user activity. Additionally, data such as geo-location and browsing content contribute to the creation of user profiles, enabling targeted advertising and services. The question arises as to whether this collected data is shared with third parties or remains secured on the servers.

Data Collection Practices of Other Platforms:
While Facebook and Instagram collect extensive user data, Twitter is found to collect relatively less data compared to its competitors. However, Twitter still engages in data collection to enhance user experience. Social networking and messaging platforms, in general, collect various data points, including email addresses used during sign-up and metadata indicating the creation time of photos or data files. Importantly, political and religious beliefs or health-related data are not collected by most platforms, excluding Telegram.

Importance of Prudent Data Sharing:
While companies argue that storing user data streamlines future transactions and enables targeted advertising, oversharing critical details can lead to information leaks and identity theft, particularly in the event of a cyber-attack on the collecting business. Users should carefully consider the risks associated with sharing personal information and be aware of the potential consequences.

A recent study highlights the extensive data collection practices of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, owned by Meta. These platforms gather personal information to track user activity and create targeted advertising. In contrast, Twitter collects relatively less data but still engages in data collection for user experience enhancement. It is essential for users to be cautious about oversharing personal details and understand the potential risks associated with data collection on these platforms.

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