UK Government Attacks Facebook and Social Media Cyber Security Holes

Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook empire have come under fire after an 18-month long inquiry by U.K. officials, who have revealed their recommendation to begin mass governmental regulation large social media companies. Though social media cyber security has never been a significant part of most conversations related to these companies, it will be moving forward.

The U.K. government is forcing social media giants to consider their responsibilities to protect user data. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee released a report that put it into simple terms, “it is clear that spending substantial sums with Facebook, as a condition of maintaining preferential access to personal data, was part and parcel of the company’s strategy of platform development as it embraced the mobile advertising world. And that this approach was driven from the highest level.” 1

Social media cyber security experts are hired to keep user data secret. Of course, most have kept social media safe from large scale data breaches, with some notable exceptions.

  • Adult Friend Finder Hack – 412 million users (October 2016)
  • Sony PlayStation Network – 77 million users (April 2011)
  • Ashley Madison – 5.5 million users (July 2015)

The availability of cyber security courses will inevitably increase overall internet security. The good news is that compared to many other companies, social media and cyber security have enjoyed a long relationship from the beginning. Social media companies have done their best to protect user data, understanding that user data is their capital.

The new issue is whether there is enough regulation, oversight, and overall social media cyber security to protect user data from the companies that use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn to serve targeted ads?

At the moment, cyber security for social media companies is not the main issue, but it will be in future reports. Right now, all priority is focused on content and advertiser control. The report, which is gaining more and more popularity overseas, calls for all digital campaigns on social media by as transparent as traditional media.2

DCMS chair Damián Collins added the final nail when he said, “Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to the billions of Facebook users across the world.” 1


[1]: Parliament – Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report published

[2]: Mashable – The UK government thinks it’s time for Facebook to be regulated