Data Privacy Concerns
George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 warns us against a society governed by propaganda, surveillance, and censorship. Orwell’s work became a trending topic in 2017, in light of the rise of fake news, supposed tampering in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and misuse of users data from Facebook to influence the election. Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress confirms what we already know: you cannot delete your data from Facebook’s servers once it’s uploaded, Facebook will always “sell” your data to advertisers, your data is not secure from hackers or misuse, and encrypted messages on WhatsApp belong to Facebook and are likely used for targeting as well–although Zuckerberg denies this claim in his testimony.
While Zuckerberg was able to tactfully slide through the scandal rather unscathed and without consequence, privacy, surveillance, censorship, and security remain at the forefront of our ever-evolving, digital public and private realm.
In 2017, under pressure from Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to monetize WhatsApp, an end-to-end encrypted private communication app bought by Facebook in 2014, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton decided to leave Facebook to create the Signal Foundation and SignalApp. In March of 2018, Acton tweeted that it’s time to delete Facebook, supposedly in reaction to Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress.
It is time. #deletefacebook
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Hacking of iCloud
In 2014, more than 200 Apple iCloud accounts belonging to Hollywood celebrities were hacked, publicly releasing more than 500 explicit photos obtained from iCloud file storage. Here lies the issue with storing sensitive data and images on a third-party server—your files sit on someone else’s server, even after deleting the files from your device, exposing those files to potential security threats. Even private messages through encrypted messaging apps are often stored and backed up on servers, making them not as private as some people may think.
The Department of Justice Says it Has Located the Man Behind the 2014 iCloud Celebrity Photos Hack https://t.co/R0sVAO4wMJ
— Inc. (@Inc) March 20, 2016
Making Ads Relevant
While both Google and Facebook will claim that they do not sell your data to advertisers, that this data remains anonymous, and that your data is only used to make ads “more relevant to you”, how much can we trust that this data will not be misused, leaked, or sold in the future? Given Facebook’s reputation and the mere slap on the wrist it received from the last scandal, it’s likely that history will repeat itself. Even Google, whose data privacy reputation may not be as tarnished as Facebook’s, recently came under fire for exposing Chrome users to a potential compromising of their data.
Google has responded to criticism about its browser auto-login feature, and other changes. So it’s making those features optional. The result is better, but still much invasive than it was a few weeks ago. https://t.co/LqVWdaOEz6
— Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green) September 26, 2018
A Need for Privacy
People are starting to get smarter about what belongs in the cloud and what doesn’t; with this realization the need for privacy and security is growing. Most file sharing solutions will upload files to their servers and send a link to the recipient. This puts sensitive data at risk because the moment they are uploaded on another server, you have lost control.
With Binfer’s secure file sharing solution, you can be assured ZERO data is stored and ZERO data is sold. Files transfer directly from you to the recipient, ensuring that whatever you are sharing remains private and secure. Binfer’s secure file sharing solution provides complete end-to-end AES 256-bit encryption without using the cloud (or another server). We recommend trying Binfer for your secure and private data transfer needs.