Sorry! We have moved! The new URL is:

You will be redirected to the new address in five seconds.

If you see this message for more than 5 seconds, please click on the link above!

Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Facebook must be allergic to privacy concerns

Facebook has gone from a social networking website for university kids to an Internet powerhouse. That’s precisely why it’s so disappointing for the website to once again
 mess up something as important as privacy.

Last week, Facebook announced that it would extend its reach beyond the website, opening up the “Like” button to several websites and “personalizing your experience” on new sites. Facebook responded to privacy concerns with a blog post"; detailing what personalization does and how companies will be limited in the information they obtain about you. However, Facebook once again makes the blunder of having this be an opt-out feature, meaning it is turned on by default and users have to search how to turn-off Facebook personalization.

To make matters worse, Facebook’s new Graph API has security holes" that expose some data to people outside of the Facebook network. My sister-in-law has her profile set to only share information with friends; however, I was able to see a list of events she marked as “Attending” on Facebook. I wasn’t even able to see this information by browsing her profile page, but going to exposed past events. This may seem like something minor because that information was once public anyway, but the fact that this information is being stored for anyone to see (I anticipate Facebook will fix this shortly) shows cause for concern.

There have been many instances in which Facebook has gotten privacy – or at least the perceived notion of it – wrong. I’ve often overlooked this because it’s incredibly difficult to balance the pace of innovation with the expectation of privacy by people who only want to share information with their friends. Yet Facebook seems to repeatedly have oversights that can only be described as willful ignorance, indifference, or an arrogant view about how much privacy users can reasonably expect on social networks.

It amazes me that a website I joined to goof off and reconnect with classmates has morphed into a website that I must temper my words and activity because the gates have been opened to anyone with an e-mail address. Despite previous concerns about its privacy controls,"; Facebook has refused to make privacy settings easily understandable, changeable, and the default settings. Instead, they have users find obscure controls to opt-out of services and features they never agreed to. I was already vigilant about what information I shared on Facebook, but I’m not sure if I should continue sharing anything there at all.


Post a Comment



Blog Archive

Total Pageviews