Consumer TechDr. Jessica Baron is a tech ethics writer & a reporter at TechEngage


Just because you’re not on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean your data is safe from the social media giants or their prying algorithms. A study from the University of Vermont adds yet more evidence to the argument that your privacy is no longer in your hands, even if you abstain from social media.

Researchers from UVM’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics published a paper in this week’s issue of the journal Nature Human Behaviour demonstrating that social media users not only generate “substantial behavioral data about themselves” but also about members of their social circle.

Were you feeling virtuous this past year when all the bad news about Facebook piled up because you never created an account? Well, hopefully, you don’t have any friends or family, because if they have social media profiles, chances are you’re a known quantity to social media companies.