economics

April 30, 2010

Debate Continues Around Facebook Privacy Changes

Filed under: Uncategorized — ktetaichinh @ 1:13 am
Tags: , , , ,

“Clearly, I much prefer Facebook asks permission before it shares my information with a third party — who wouldn’t?” he wrote. “I think Facebook is choosing the opt-out option because they realize most people would not choose to opt in. I just joined fb recently and I already regret it, I hope people don’t consider me antisocial if I close my account.”

Larry V, meanwhile, was more resigned to the situation. “Whether Facebook ask permission from users to share personal information with third parties vs. opting-out option is meaningless because in the end there is no such thing as privacy in the technology modern real world,” he wrote.

If you want to see how others are weighing in, check out this collection of links from blogger Melissa Venable, including Lifehacker’s post on how to restore your privacy settings on Facebook.

As for me, I’m taking it one day at a time. While I think it’s really useful to see the content my friends are sharing on sites like ABCNews.com and WashingtonPost.com, I’m not surprised by how many people have told me they’re creeped out by the whole thing. Suddenly I’m hearing the phrase “opt-in” uttered by friends and family who’ve probably never discussed online terms of service policies in their lives. I haven’t made any changes to my privacy settings, though I’m glad I reviewed my settings, as well as checked out all of my interests on my profile page, just to be sure I didn’t mind the way they’re now displayed. The only major change I made was adding a new activity to my profile: Monitoring my Facebook privacy settings. I imagine I won’t be the only one.

Today I logged in and was asked to accept connections to/with employers, schools, and other sites related to my profile (previously identified interests and groups). When I chose not to connect the related information dropped out of my profile, but there’s more going on here.

Since this morning, I’ve seen a lot of Twitter traffic about the issue. There are of course pros and cons. ‘Opening up’ Facebook to track interests across the Internet could prove to be powerful in terms of social networking. It could also result in a significant loss of privacy in terms of what anyone might be able to access about anyone else’s activities, interests, etc.

In an effort to inform, here are several perspectives:

I think my own frustration begins with the changes being an opt-out instead of opt-in situation. Also feeling a little left out. As a user should I have been asked what I thought about it? Perhaps we are all along for the ride.

What do you think? Did you change your privacy settings?

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