17 May 2010
Still Happy With Facebook..?
Since I deleted my Facebook account late last year when decluttering, the privacy situation has worsened and attracted more attention. Here’s a small selection of recent coverage:
- Protect Your Privacy Opt Out of Facebook’s New Instant Personalization - Yes You Have to Opt Out
- Facebook’s High Pressure Tactics: Opt-in or Else
- Facebook’s “Evil Interfaces”
- Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative
- Well, These New Zuckerberg IMs Won’t Help Facebook’s Privacy Problems
- Facebook privacy hole ‘lets you see where strangers plan to go’
- Privacy Flare-Up Prompts Facebook Meetings with Congress, Employees
For me, this diagram of the privacy settings/policy is the most damning. It’s not showing a site that’s trying to be open and helpful about its use of personal data, it’s a picture of deliberate and growing obfuscation (trust me, I’ve worked on enough sites over the years to recognise the attitudes behind a site architecture).
Facebook’s an incredibly useful site for many people (and for developers looking to integrate sites/games/apps to boost traffic), but I do think you should treat all data submitted as potentially public, and if you start feeling the site is taking you for a mug then you might want to stop rewarding it with your participation.