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The protection of personal data and the social network websites


The social networks websites used at global level represent the place where people interact online, discuss, exchange photos or music or share their experiences.

The fast development of this type of communication gave rise to certain concerns towards the safety of using the Internet for the disclosure of some personal data.

If we decide to use this kind of website and to post information about us, this can lead to the creation of a profile of that person.

Due to the fact that the information posted on the social networks websites become mainly accessible to the public, we have to pay extra care to the information that we disclose about us, which simply by becoming known to a large number of person can lead to the creation of a risk to privacy or even to the physical safety of a person.

A website which allows posting personal data must ensure the security of the information and not to be used for other purposes.

Most of these websites allow the setting of the information which is being posted as public or private information, by using the control option "privacy settings". If some of the websites are automated set at private level, for others you have to choose this option in an express manner.

It is recommended to those using the social networks websites:

  • to avoid posting of personal information like the address or phone number
  • to avoid using certain passwords which can be easily identified, even by closed persons
  • to use a special e-mail address, different from the personal or professional one.

Mrs. Georgeta Basarabescu - president of the national supervisory authority - stresses out the fact that the social networks providers should collect and process sensitive data (concerning the racial or ethnic origin, political, religious, philosophical beliefs, trade-union allegiance, personal data regarding the state of health or sex life) only with the expressed and unequivocal consent of the data subject, according to the point of view of Article 29 Working Party in its Opinion no. 5/2009.

This international document states that the social network providers should establish the retention period of inactive users' data, and the accounts abandoned must be deleted.