Social networks have become, for many, in a window of what we do every day: what to do, what to think, who and where we are … This has generated much debate on privacy and the responsibility to use these platforms our information. It is a theme that has been present for some services and has become the claim that we should give the leap from Facebook and Twitter to other “more private” places.

Eventually emerge, almost like a cycle, social networks that ensure our privacy. The latter has been This ( the Genbeta used ) and its promise of a more secure for users and where our data are not at the mercy of third platform. Now is hard but the history of failures of privacy based services as a central point demonstrates that it has all become a failure.

TechPrivacy does not seem to matter much

Year 2010, Diaspora appears. A social network is born with discussions on Internet privacy in one of the most critical moments. Its creators promise us a safe place to share our lives with people confidence without having to worry about prying eyes by listening services or use of this information for commercial data mining.

It was a viral phenomenon: everyone was talking about it and its benefits. A very exclusive and safe circle. The idea sounded good. But the reality was very different Diaspora who uses today? Does anyone find it relevant today? No, once passed the boom (in 2012) was losing interest, and that behind this project is a very dark story with the suicide of one of its creators.

In March 2014, Diaspora had one million users. Are not specify whether the total of the database or those with active every month. Taking this into account, it is conceivable that the gross amount of accounts you have registered. Despite today and what happens in the world, their presence is almost invisible.

Whisper was born in 2012 with a strong focus on privacy, go ahead and have a good user base but as a completely anonymous network content that often becomes irrelevant and could be categorized as a joke. In this line we also have the infamous Secrets and sink hatred from the privilege of anonymity , although he was in his day which is not exactly a social safety net.

Another good example, nationwide, is Spotbros. A service that began to position itself as a tool for private and secure communications in the wake of 15M but when he did not triumphed has mutated into a kind of competitor Whatsapp where security was maintained but was not the main attraction. They tried to seize the moment, but so far its existence has not been very relevant.

Every time there is a scandal involving privacy and information leaks (remember NSA eavesdropping or the celebgate ) it seems that users will back us a little more aware of our privacy. I say seems because the reality is that despite this news the great bulk of consumers continues with the same habits.

We know that social networks we use every day using our data, we are aware that they are not the safest but despite that follow on Facebook, Twitter and Google +, if there are people there. However, there is something crazy about us, get on the truck and the viral hype to promote services.

The hype train without brakes

Thanks to falls in Whatsapp servers, and few safety measures, interest soars Telegram. An application that does some things better than the company acquired by Whatsapp (multiplatform delivery of all types of files …) and we also sold a plus privacy : conversations that could be safely removed. Furthermore there was a stronger encryption layer to prevent so easily accede to the contents.

It skyrocketed and although it has come to stay, his presence is small (35 million active users) when compared with giants like Whatsapp (600 million) or WeChat (438). The reality is that there are plenty of people that the lack of security measures and privacy Whatsapp does not care at all.

More interesting is the case of Snapchat (100 million active users per month) an application that allows you to send photos of “safe” without the other person can save them. Big mistake, it has already been shown to have security flaws and, finally, that smartphones have a great combination of buttons really fast to make screenshots.

In fact, despite many warnings to security breaches of this application, we have recently learned of the existence of a leak of 100,000 amateur naked through a third party service. A group of people has been collecting the material and, they say, is already circulating the net. Snapchat application will remain fashionable but this happening is very serious.

Privacy vs services: everything has a price

At this point it is time to address a key question: Why still use unsafe social networks? If we approach the problem from a technical perspective, solving all the bugs and holes is not an easy task. Many claim that it is impossible to create a secure platform and even when failures are detected, they are not always easy to fix.

From a social perspective, we highlight two elements. On the one hand the lack of information (and education) that are users of these platforms. Despite appearing such news, it seems the message is not accepting cove and continue to use them. In South Korea, for example, recently gave us an example of how you could break this dynamic and opt for safer services.

On the other hand we have a more pragmatic pillar. Is it worth giving up the privacy and let our information for commercial use by third parties? The answer for many is yes. Be accepted on sites like Facebook even though we know that our data are sold to provide advertising.

Nothing wrong with that if we consider that these services are free of charge. Large social networks make money with our information and we do not mind giving up that privacy. Beware: this does not mean that they should ensure our security but the reality is that non-centralized networks have targeted a problem: they are difficult to monetize.

If It does not sell advertising how they are going to keep your business? They may utilize paid subscriptions but do you remember App.net? Yes, this alternative to Twitter that would supposedly provide a safe and quality service. It was paid and promises sounded good though, they have had to tighten much to go on.

Demonstrated that privacy and security were not as important as it seems is ask yourself a question why we like viralizar these services promote and feed then leave and forget about it? In my opinion the key is that we want to be part of the next phenomenon.

Be there before anyone else, want to be pioneers to say that we got there early, as if we were some kind of settlers in search of the promised land. We we can allow for something very simple: there is no cost. We just need a record five minutes longer, no one forces us to then use it.

On the technology side over device, pioneering a type of gadget has a higher cost. Consider the life of any product category and one need only observe that initially (until its use is standardized) has a large economic barrier. Not so with social networking. Put me and I will use it if I remember.