Social media and privacy

Sir, – We are regularly reminded about the possibility, and dangers, of our online data being used and shared. Indeed many politicians are finding this to their cost recently.

Karlin Lillington warns against being fooled by Facebook pretending to want to be regulated ("Don't be fooled by Facebook's 'regulate us, please' media blitz", Business Opinion, February 20th). But this doesn't seem to stop us rushing to share information and see the information of others on social media.

Some 65 per cent of Irish people use Instagram daily, and 62 per cent use Facebook. And we are not alone; world usage of social media has increased from 1.5 per cent in 2008 to 30 per cent in 2018, and the percentage of Irish people and people around the world using various platforms is growing every day.

Simon Carswell lists nine different social media companies that are currently being investigated by the data regulator, and there are 23 investigations in total (“Which big tech firms are being investigated by the data regulator?”, Business Analysis, February 20th). But we are still addicted to sharing our own information and looking at the information of others. In the UK after Brexit, Google users may lose EU data protection. We don’t know what impact this will have in Ireland.


Maybe what we need is more education about the long-term impact, dangers, or indeed benefits, of this new addiction.

And to think we objected vehemently to the nuns being allowed read our incoming letters, and Valentine cards in boarding school! In reality, they didn’t bother; too busy, so no chance of any unseemly comments coming out now. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.