Study reveals that staying ‘off grid’ is not the solution to protecting your privacy on social media

According to a new study, it is impossible to protect your privacy even if you are not a social media user. In fact, they claim that it is possible to create a 95% accurate profile for you from your friend’s account.

When users sign up for social media accounts, they not only hand them their own data but also their friend’s personal information too – says Professor James Bagrow.

Professor Bagrow and his fellow scientists at the universities of Adelaide and Vermont have published their work in the journal Nature Human Behavior to understand how this whole phenomenon occurs.

They claim that simply “opting out” of social media is not enough to protect your privacy. The team of researchers found that it was possible to predict the content of a person’s tweets by collecting data of just eight contacts. And the ‘collected information’ is so accurate that you will feel you are looking at that person’s own Twitter feed.
"We know we're giving away tons of info about ourselves when we use social media. But we're giving away info about our friends too. How useful is that info? Your info about your friends is nearly as good as your info about yourself!", explained Jim Bagrow.
Some information theory mathematicians suggest that it is possible to profile (and categories) users based on their friends list - even if they are not actually active users of the social network.
Also Read: Protect Your Privacy While Venturing The World Of The Internet (infographic)
The profile is something the social media companies build for everyone by establishing who their friends are. This is done either by accessing their contacts book on the phone or their email accounts.

Simply put, you are being profiled even if you choose to stay away from social media altogether.

A co-author of the paper also confirms that there is no place to hide in a social network. In fact, there is no way to control privacy on social media, as your friends are involved.
Related: Majority of Facebook users are unaware of the social media platform recording their interests
Staying off social media platforms is not enough to protect your digital footprint, study says

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