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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Private data? You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube

Readers discuss North Korea, Skype and Facebook

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the world's largest social network will soon include a new dating feature, while vowing to make privacy protection its top priority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Josh Edelson / AFP
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the world's largest social network will soon include a new dating feature, while vowing to make privacy protection its top priority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Josh Edelson / AFP

I write in reference to your news report Singles of the world unite: Facebook to offer dating service for first time (May 1): Facebook will certainly benefit financially, thanks to the increased usage and consequent advertising boost that its new dating service will offer. Nevertheless, as recent scandals have shown, potential users should be aware of the dangers involved in placing their personal data and pictures on such sites. Our private lives have been reduced to public displays, due to our adoration for different social networks.

Once anything is typed or posted on a site, it cannot be retracted, just as extracted toothpaste cannot be thrust back into a tube. Then the data is potentially available to the site provider, governments, research agencies, advertisers and others. As a result, it might not be wise for potential dating partners to use social networking sites, where every thought or emotion can sadly become grist for the public mill.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

We should be more optimistic about North Korea talks

In reference to Rashmee Roshan Lall’s interesting column The only predictable thing about North Korea is its unpredictability (May 1), Ms Roshan Lall has astutely silenced the naysayers following the recent meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in. Contrary to popular belief, she demonstrates how North Korea’s unpredictability could in fact ease tensions. She is right to point to the fall of the Berlin Wall as an example of unlikely expeditious progress. But I wonder if the two Koreas' summit will set an example for the upcoming meeting between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump. We will have to wait and see.

K Ragavan, Denver

Lack of Skype is harming our businesses in a digital age

Referring to your article Skype ban in the UAE: what the future may hold for VoIP service (May 2), losing the ability to Skype my family and friends requires me to pay more to contact them. It is infuriating but possible for me, thankfully. However, explaining to clients across America, Europe, India and Africa that I cannot demonstrate our new products, developed in a “digital city”, because Skype is blocked is more of an issue. The inability to communicate effectively with the outside world is harming our business.

Pete Alexander, Dubai

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