Occupy Privacy: National Campaign for Parents & College Students

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There is a tsunami coming and it will take down a lot of students. It's heading directly to the college student in your family.

Occupy Privacy in College

There is a tsunami coming and it will take down a lot of students. It's heading directly to the college student in your life,

Collegiate Nation announced today that it has formally launched a nationwide campaign, Occupy Privacy in College. The campaign is a direct response to the 8-count complaint against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission. It has exposed how the giant social network deceived users and shared their private information without consent, causing private information to be shared with thousands of companies and unknown individuals.

"There is a tsunami coming and it will take down a lot of students. Parents need to know that It can hit hard the college student in their family” says Evelyn Castillo-Bach, the founder of Collegiate Nation. "For years, college students have been sharing on Facebook, assuming they actually controlled the information they posted. But now the FTC has shattered that myth. No matter what privacy settings people selected, there was a consistent pattern of releasing private information without consent. We predict that many students will learn that they cannot get hired because of negative information stored in ghost files now owned by data brokers, recruiters, and employers. We also predict that an avalanche of law suits will follow, now that everyone knows the truth."

Do college students have the most to lose? "Yes," says Castillo-Bach. “A college student's entire future can be easily derailed when every social moment and the smallest indiscretion is stored, controlled, sold or passed along to thousands of other companies. The FTC landmark complaint against Facebook, for distributing private information without getting consent, means that even intimate details about your sons and daughters was shared with thousands of websites, apps, advertisers, and unknown companies. The FTC leaves no doubt that everything from status updates to photos and friends list were distributed despite privacy settings selected."

The Occupy Privacy in College campaign is about helping to inform parents and colleges students about the real threat that students face today when they share within social networks that don't put privacy first. For Castillo-Bach, defending a student's right to privacy is also personal. "It shatters a parent to know that they could have done more to protect their son or daughter from a bad outcome. No parent should have to live that feeling."

Collegiate Nation describes public social networks as disguised data collectors. "College students need to get off those grids. We advise to post nothing on public sites that you don’t want to see on the front page of your hometown newspaper or on the desk of a recruiter or future employer," says Castillo-Bach, who was inspired to create Collegiate Nation when she saw how her sons and their friends used Facebook without really understanding that everything they posted was being tracked and stored, forever.

Collegiate Nation --also known as GoCNCN.com-- is a private social network exclusively for college students. It was created in 2009 to protect college students from the privacy violations and data grab by public social networks. It has banned ads, third party apps and games precisely because they provide a back door to extracting information.

Specifically, the complaint filed by the FTC as it appears in the case number 0923184 shows that:

-- “Only Friends” settings were Ignored.

-- Profile information was made public without consent.

-- Apps were given access to user relationship status, location, photos and videos, even if one never used an app but friends did.

-- Facebook shared personal Information with advertisers even after making public claims denying it.

-- Facebook shared user photos and videos even after users deleted their accounts.

-- Facebook made changes to its platform that made previous private information public and did not make sure users were clearly told.

-- Facebook had a "Verified Apps" program & claimed it certified the security of participating apps. It didn't.

-- Facebook claimed that it complied with the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Framework that governs data transfer between the U.S. and the European Union. It didn't.


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Jennifer Wright
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