Facebook privacy: they’re gonna fix it?

So they say. I bet they’re only going to go so far. They still want to profit from that info.

FACEBOOK has caved in to pressure from critics and said it would simplify controls over the degree of privacy given to users of the popular social networking service.

Facebook has been under fire from privacy and consumer groups over new features that critics claim compromise the privacy of its more than 400 million members.

Obviously the Quit Facebook Day campaign (and when is the MSM going to learn to put hyperlinks in stories? even in plain text would be fine – here PC World shows them how it’s done) is making them nervous.

I’m not quitting FB though. Without Facebook I wouldn’t know what most comedians are doing to keep my comedy website up to date, so I’m not leaving it until they do (more and more of them are using a combo of Twitter and Tumblr, so I might be out of there in a year or two). I’m not terribly fussed about FB’s privacy settings because there’s not that much on my FB profile for me to keep private. Because unlike a lot of other people on Facebook, I haven’t made it the hub of my online presence. It’s just one of the spokes. Catching up with the occasional old school friend is a nostalgic bonus.

a picture from Star Trek of Jon Luc Picard as Locutus of Borg

I signed up to it using a webmail address. My FB profile and business pages connected to Twitter acccounts that also run off webmail addresses. Because I’ve been online for aaaaages, there are several layers between those webmail addresses and anything more directly traceable to me in meatspace. I also never filled in every single box in the profile about my favourite things.

It’s a very good thing to view FB with a jaundiced eye and limit what you put up on there. FB has its uses, and as long as you treat it simply as a networking tool it’s useful, or can be simply fun. Treating it as your social hub is when you fall into its trap – some people have years of their photos and their friends’ comments on those photos up there. I understand why it’s hard to let them go – Zuckerberg designed it that way – a one stop Hotel California shop. I’ll be interested to see the growth in alternative platforms over the next few years.

Categories: arts & entertainment, ethics & philosophy, technology

Tags: , , ,

2 replies

  1. I noticed shortly after their policy changes, several of my FB friends stopped updating their feeds. They used to post messages and updates much more frequently. They haven’t deleted their profiles, but they’re not as active. I think they’re just going to leave their accounts inactive.
    I’m surprised – I didn’t think they kept up with tech news but apparently I’m wrong – they do, and they do care about their privacy.

  2. I keep thinking about ditching FB on principle, but it’s the only way I keep up with extended family. I have significantly reduced the stuff on there though, and was always a little reticent on the info anyway.
    Of course, if the interwebs in general are fascinated by my changing fortunes in Bejewelled Blitz, they’ll be fully clued up.

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