The Truth About Your Data: Social Media Privacy Exposed

Welcome to our detailed exploration of social media privacy policies. We’ve meticulously examined the privacy policies of major platforms like Threads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, and Mastodon. Our goal is to provide you with a clear, …

Social Media Privacy

Welcome to our detailed exploration of social media privacy policies. We’ve meticulously examined the privacy policies of major platforms like Threads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, and Mastodon. Our goal is to provide you with a clear, concise comparison, highlighting the critical similarities and differences in how these platforms handle your data.


After spending countless hours diving into the privacy policies of TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (Meta), and Facebook Privacy, it’s alarming to see a significant gap between what these platforms claim and what they actually do with your data. This discrepancy raises concerns that these tech giants might be overstating their privacy commitments, leading us to question the true integrity of their operations.

Reading through these policies, I couldn’t help but feel deceived. It’s like everyone is playing fast and loose with our data, doing as they please while assuring us of their integrity. The sensation I experienced was one of frustration and helplessness. It’s as though I’m the fool in the town, watching as everyone manipulates our data with little regard for transparency or honesty.

It’s important to note that I’m not a lawyer, and this analysis isn’t legal advice. It’s purely for informational purposes, intended to shed light on how these platforms manage user data. For any actions based on this information, professional legal consultation is recommended.


Our approach involved a rigorous and detailed examination of the privacy policies of TikTok, Meta, LinkedIn, and Mastodon. Here’s how we conducted our analysis:

Comprehensive Reading

We started by thoroughly reading each privacy policy. This initial step was crucial in understanding the core principles and commitments outlined by each platform.


After reading, we categorized each point in the policies. This categorization helped us create a framework that highlights the key aspects of each platform’s privacy approach. We focused on areas such as data collection, data usage, data sharing, and user rights.

Scoring System

We then developed a scoring system to evaluate each platform based on their practices. This system allowed us to offer a clear, quantitative comparison. Our scores were based on criteria such as transparency, user control, data security, and third-party data sharing.

In-Depth Analysis

Using our scoring system, we conducted an in-depth analysis to gain insights into how these platforms manage and handle user data. We examined how much they prioritize privacy and how their practices align with their stated policies.


Finally, we compared the results to identify the similarities and differences between the platforms. This comparative analysis provided a clear picture of the current data privacy landscape in social media.

Special Mention: Meta’s Threads

Threads’ privacy policy supplements Meta’s overarching policy. While we didn’t find any major deviations from Instagram’s policy, rumors suggest Threads might handle sensitive personal data, such as health-related information stored on devices. These claims remain unconfirmed and largely speculative.

User-Provided Information

All companies collect similar user-provided data, but the main issue is how they process it. Do they apply predictive algorithms? What do they do with our data?

Here’s a summary of the data users provide to social networks:

  • Date of birth
  • Username
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Password
  • Bio
  • Profile photo
  • User content
  • Purchase information
  • Surveys, research, promotions

It’s crucial to remember that we have control over what we share. Protecting our data also means safeguarding the privacy of our contacts. We must be cautious about the information we provide, understanding that it extends beyond just our profiles. The data we upload can paint a comprehensive picture of our lives, habits, and preferences.

Automatically Collected Information

Social networks automatically collect extensive data, including:

  • Device model
  • Operating system
  • Keystroke patterns
  • IP address
  • System language
  • Brand and model
  • Battery level
  • Hardware and software details
  • Available storage
  • Plugins
  • Signal strength
  • Location
  • Content viewed
  • Usage duration and frequency
  • Engagement with other users
  • Search history
  • Content analysis (e.g., identifying faces, objects)
  • Cookies and other tracking systems

This automatic data collection can be quite invasive. It includes everything from the technical specifics of your device to your behavior patterns online. The platforms use this data to build detailed profiles, which can be used to tailor content, advertisements, and even influence user behavior.

Data from Other Providers

Advertisers play a significant role in sharing data with social networks. When you visit websites with embedded tracking pixels, information is sent back to these platforms, especially if you accept cookies. This exchange of data allows social networks to enrich their profiles of users, even if you haven’t directly interacted with their platform recently.

For instance, if an advertiser uses tracking pixels on their website, and you visit that site, your activity can be tracked and sent back to the social network. This means that even if you’re simply browsing the web, your data could still end up being shared with multiple parties.

Why Do They Need This Data?

Why do platforms need to know our battery status or storage space? They analyze everything to create precise profiles, allowing them to predict our behavior and preferences. The detailed nature of the data collected enables these platforms to understand not just who you are, but also how you interact with your environment and technology.

This information is incredibly valuable for advertisers, as it allows them to target ads with pinpoint accuracy. It also helps social networks keep users engaged by showing content that is most likely to interest them, thus increasing the time users spend on their platforms.

How Social Networks Use Our Information

Social networks use our data to enhance their platforms and our experience, which ultimately means spending more time on their sites and seeing more ads. This data is used to:

– Personalize content and recommendations

– Improve user interface and functionality

– Target advertisements more effectively

– Ensure platform security

– Conduct research and analysis

Privacy Tips and Next Steps

To protect your privacy, consider the following steps:

Uninstall Social Media Apps

Removing social media apps from your phone can limit data collection and unnecessary access to your device.

Reject Cookies

Use privacy-focused browsers like Brave to block cookie consent banners and minimize data sharing.

Use Web Interfaces

Access social media platforms through their web interfaces instead of apps to reduce data collection.

Be Cautious

Exercise caution when sharing content on social media. Consider the implications of what you’re posting.

Use a VPN

Protect your privacy further by using a VPN on your mobile devices to mask your online activities.

Summing Up

Social networks know a lot about us. It’s up to us to decide whether to continue sharing our data or to take steps to protect our privacy. It’s not just about security; it’s about maintaining our intimacy and control over our personal information.

In conclusion, we give and gift them our data: beyond our name, we give them our thoughts, our likes, our physical appearances, our purchases, our studies, images of our house, family, car, etc. They know where we live, where we work, how we move, and where we go. Moreover, they receive data from “others,” meaning, if we live a life “outside their app,” they still find out because advertisers provide them with “anonymous” information about us. We currently depend on the “good faith” of these companies to avoid harm through manipulation, whether political, social, sexual, or related to habits. This is a danger!


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