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The Contender
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7 Points

Sharing of personal details for commercial gain by social networking sites be made punishable by law

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,239 times Debate No: 16019
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Social networking sites are places where people 'share' or upload details of their personal life to the world wide web , in order to connect better with their friends or personal contacts.
Under such circumstances social networking sites become ware houses for large amounts of pervading information into the life of its members which includes photographs, email and other contact details. This information is usually uploaded by members solely for the Eyes of their own contacts.

Social Networking sites may find it difficult to maintain huge establishments merely through online applications and add generated revenue. They hence often find themselves compelled to cash in at other places.

Multi-national co-operations and sometimes people with malafide intent are willing to pay money in exchange for personal contact details including personal preferences of ordinary people, these details are often used against the best interest of uncanny victims usually for marketing purposes, but sometimes for the more vicious credit card and other monetary frauds.

The sale of contact details of millions of such social network users generate enormous income for companies, and grievous injustice and harassment of users.

For the above stated purposes , I propose that it will be in the best interest of the users of such networking sites,if governments make it a punishable offense for companies to share private details of individual users for commercial gain.


The first thing to look at when evaluating how privacy is being abused, is to look at the current privacy laws, or policies for the individual social networking sites.
For example, most sites already are under legally binding contracts dis-allowing the use of exposing personal details for the gain of profit. Any person affiliated with the social networking site, that violates this rule should be punished separately from the actual social networking program. However there are alot of details that some people who join these social networking sites fail to view before clicking "I accept", in which the companies can easily see and find loop holes, making it perfectly legal. I will be debating this scenario in this debate as well. Please view the sources below for further details.

Social networks themselves do not necessarily guarantee the security of the information that has been uploaded to a profile, even when those posts are set to be private. For example, Facebook's Privacy Policy as of May 7, 2010, stated that:

"We cannot guarantee that only authorized persons will view your information. We cannot ensure that information you share on Facebook will not become publicly available. We are not responsible for third-party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on Facebook." [ accessed on May 7, 2010]

"There are two kinds of information that can be gathered about a user from a social network: information that is shared and information gathered through electronic tracking."

1. Is giving out private information really so bad?

The thing we have to realize is, that the second we put something on the Internet, we instantly give our information publicly to thousands of people anyway. Any big search site, such as Spokeo ( ) can be used to find out the same information if no better information. The Internet is so complex, that public sites can even access all of your computers information. Site's such as Limewire, Frostwire, Piratebay, Etc, can access your computer without your permission anyway and make all of your pictures, videos, or music free for any stalker in the world to take advantage of. So yes, while it is un-ethical to make private information public, should the social networking sites really be punished so harshly, even when they advertise within the confines of their own terms and agreements? Let's keep in mind that these people post information willingly, leading me to second point.

"There are two kinds of information that can be gathered about a user from a social network: information that is shared and information gathered through electronic tracking."

Alternative source for this contention: Askbob.

2. Social networking sites, are a haven for people to post all of their personal information for others to view. Everyone participating on a social networking site, is on some level okay with the distribution of their personal information. If the information is extremely personal, then it is obvious to say it definitely doesn't belong on a social networking site to begin with. Even if the information is classified only to a select group of people, by posting the information online, we are already risking other people (included in the group of selected individuals) giving out this information.

"•A user may choose to post information as "public" (without restricting access via available privacy settings).
•Certain information may be publicly visible by default. In some situations, a user may be able to change the privacy settings to make the information "private" -- so that only approved users can view it. Other information must remain public; the user does not have an option to restrict access to it.
•A social network can change its privacy policy at any time without a user's permission. Content that was posted with restrictive privacy settings may become visible when a privacy policy is altered.
•Approved contacts may copy and repost information – including photos – without a user's permission, potentially bypassing privacy settings.
•Third-party applications that have been granted access may be able to view information that a user or a user's contacts post privately."


3. Responsibility of the user.

Most teens have social networking profiles, and accounts, and choose to pot information willing, but they ought to at least be held responsible for the violation of any privacy issues.

For example 72% of teens have a social networking profile and nearly half (47%) have a public profile viewable by anyone. There are a great number of users with openly viewable information who choose to post information online. This doesn't detract the fact that they still have the choice to post this information regardless. Risk of third party privacy violation is almost the exact same as someone marketing or advertising the personal information.

It is not the social networking sites responsibility to maintain your privacy!
Please see this link, providing failed attempts in court cases trying to put a ban on information publicly given.

It is for all these reasons that I strongly urge the voters to vote pro!

Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Excellent first response including bob banhammer, obviously sent PRO into hiding.