Tech Thursday: Facebook Privacy

Comic from Joy of Tech, by Nitrozac & Snaggy

Short but sweet Tech Thursday this week, filling in for the vacationing Scottie. I want to talk about privacy on Facebook.

Clearly Facebook needs to be careful giving out users' data to other companies. In response to the recent public backlash, Facebook has streamlined the privacy settings and given users a little more control over their sharing. I checked it out and I do find it much easier to understand and navigate than it was before. Prior to this update I basically had to go through every single part of Privacy and see what was set to where, because none of it really flowed from a logic standpoint.

That said, I'm more in line with the thinking of Business Week columnist Ben Kunz, who says why is everyone so agitated by Facebook in light of all the other info we give to advertisers? Like the fact that Facebook is making it clear and easy to manage what you reveal. That is the most important thing. But beyond that, it's like the comic says - aren't most people choosing to put themselves in the crosshairs of advertisers? Am I wrong to be so casual about this?

1 comment:

  1. If you're casual, then I'm Friday Casual. People want it both ways - they want to share the most mundane of details about themselves for the world to see ("Mmmm, Taco Tuesday is the bomb! Bueno!") but blanch as soon as that information is used in an apparent attempt to undermine their hard-earned privacy. Here's a hint - if you're on the Internet, there is no privacy.

    Facebook's mistake is a process one. A) They make everything opt-out, rather than opt-in, which doesn't really sit well with people, regardless of their views on privacy. In short, it's a freaking hassle to have to turn off everything you don't want rather than turning on everything you do want.

    Furthermore, Scrooge McZuckerberg (see Best of FIWK down there) isn't exactly ingratiating himself to his legions of followers and potential subscribers with his, "Haha, whoops! We're just figuring all this stuff out as we go along. But, look, you can link Netflix to your wall!" shtick. Dude, you're the CEO of the most powerful social networking site in the history of time, and - I don't care if you're only 19 and look like a Muppet - that comes with a certain degree of responsibility and expectations of maturity.

    Anyway, dismounting my high can't have your FB cake and not expect not to get bugged with ads about cake, is what I'm saying. Expect that nothing is safe online, manage your info, and - if it really comes down to principle - delete the account and continue having your privacy violated in other, non-tech ways.