Facebook has announced new changes to its privacy settings after its recent data scandal with Cambridge Analytica.

The new “Access Your Information” button will let you delete anything from your timelines or profile, but VCU Computer Science Professor Milos Manic says that doesn’t necessarily mean the information is erased. 

“Everything that we do is being collected and recorded,” Manic said.

The process is called data mining, everything from a Facebook post to “liking” a photograph is recorded. Facebook uses this information to gear advertisements towards its users.
“It’s just a matter of policy or how it’s going to be regulated, how it’s going to be used,” Manic said. “Do we really know who friends of friends are and what access will be allowed in the future?”

How can you keep your information safe? Manic says first you can go to your privacy settings on your social media account. If you want to protect your entire home network, you could go as far as buying a VPN router. That will encrypt the connection to your internet provider.

“For all of your traffic, everything that you do. It’s all gone digital,” Manic added. 

But what it comes down to, is what ou actually share with your friends. Manic says your posts will live forever, even if you delete your social media account. 

“On the phone and on the computer there are settings,” Manic said. “But at the end of the day, There’s a very simple rule. If you don’t want information to propagate further. Just never post it.”

Manic says people are using social media so much that the amount of data is “exploding” and it’s getting harder for current algorithms to keep up. He’s hopeful new ways to analyze the data wil be developed in the next few years.

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