We’ve all heard of the recent Facebook fiasco, where they were found selling user information to third party organizations. It caused a whole problem regarding user privacy, safety and permission.

After this debacle, individuals have become highly cautious about what they share online. Sensitive information, especially medical information, is one form of data that must be kept off portals like Facebook.

Facebook groups, especially to do with mental health, encourage people to speak about their diagnosis and how they have dealt with their mental illness. As empowering and philanthropic as this seems, it’s really not. Facebook’s privacy policy allows Facebook to use all media and information on the portal in any way they want, which may not necessarily be to your advantage.

In fact, Facebook has been under fire for its medical health and medical support groups operating under the guise of privacy when really, thanks to Facebook’s user policy, nothing is private. Here’s why medical information should be kept off Facebook at all cost, and especially away from medical groups.

Uncontrolled Environment

In a large and uncontrolled environment of medical groups, you cannot expect privacy of data. Your information can fall into the wrong hands and be misused. In fact, Facebook can even sell it to external sources because they partially own it due to its legal terms and policy!

The Internet Footprint

The internet is forever. Whatever you put out will always remain there no matter how many times you have removed it. Putting sensitive or critical information like mental health or physical health data is not a good idea at all.

Identity Thieves

The internet is notorious for harbouring data thieves. People sometimes “borrow” strangers’ identity to gain benefits from posing as the other person. In fact, full disclosure of your medical information can actually help identity thieves track your social security number!

Search Engine Visibility

Data that you put on Facebook or any social media platform has chances of showing up in search engines, despite privacy settings. This means that individuals who are not even on Facebook or are not members of those platforms have access to your data.

Facebook as a Law Enforcement Tool

Facebook is also used as a tool by law enforcement to track and investigate potential suspects. This means whatever information you put out has the chance of being misconstrued and used against you. This is not something that should be taken lightly!

What Can Be Done

Instead of relying on Facebook communities and groups to seek medical aid and supports, reach out to medical professionals.

Your healthcare professional will be able to refer you to reliable and safe support groups that are conducted under the watchful eye of doctors and counsellors.

The internet is a highly resourceful yet dangerous creation. Not everything can be shared on social media portals, especially in a world where privacy is a very critical issue!

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