Facebook, Privacy and the Wild Wild Web

Facebook recently introduced several changes to its service that give users more sharing options, but in the process, the company demonstrated what many have come to believe is their intentional disregard for the privacy of the user.

This error is very similar to the Facebook debacle February 2009, the company changed its user agreement in a "take everything, give" arrangement that has given the company the right to use, in perpetuity, all shared information by its users site. Users rebelled and Facebook retreated immediately.

Facebook error is twofold. First, the default privacy settings for the new Facebook are not friends, friends of friends or everyone Facebook, but all over the Internet. Second, Facebook has provided no easy script simply how to navigate the privacy settings 50 to choose privacy settings on 170.

The confusion on the default settings and how users edit and explanations dull advantages of the new changes, created the usual agitation, we came to expect every time Facebook tweaks our home away from home.

Unfortunately for Facebook, this update also created what analysts suspect an increasing number of users who wish to delete their Facebook accounts. The number of searches for "How do I delete my Facebook account [sic]" have increased dramatically since the changes were announced, and a mass exodus of Facebook has been scheduled for May 31

Nothing on the web is free

Facebook has over 400 million users, and after the mass exodus, the site has over 400 million users.

The changes Facebook is part of the inevitable Facebook monetization strategy. Nothing on Facebook free. Facebook has never been in the game not to make money. Facebook will eventually find the necessary balance between their bottom line and their users. profile information is the most valuable information for internet marketers, and any Web service has more than this kind of information Facebook. Facebook will continue along its path to use this information to make money to stay in business and continue to provide users with the services to which they subscribe in bulk.

The critics are right: Facebook wants to make lots of money. But they can not do so if its users are satisfied.

The Wild Wild Web

A lot of information you share on Facebook - your e-mail address, phone number, physical address - is already public on the web and will remain so Facebook is gone tomorrow. This information was there before Facebook and is in line regardless of how Facebook.

A recent search on the name of this writer has produced the following information:

WhitePages.com contact information, Spokeo.com and two
Background reports Intelius.com
Personal profiles of MySpace, Spokeo, LinkedIn, core members, Bebo and Flickr
The Inelius e-mail addresses that are so old that I found myself saying that they predate the Web
Public documents, including BirthDetails.com of birth records and Intelius
YouTube videos
Web pages
Blog posts

Many such sites have sprung up over the years. Pipl, Spokeo and Zillow.com, to name a few, all the information displaying many users feel is private. It is a public good, and sites such as these add this information from public sources.

The trend is the aggregation of social media, where information from various social media sites is drawn in one place so it can be easier to digest. Many aggregation services like Gist, FriendFeed and Netvibes, offer tools and widgets that allow users to combine messages, search multiple social media sites at once, follow friends, and even access your profile data all in one place in order to simplify social media participation of the individual.

With the recent introduction of the Open Graph, Facebook will try to take social aggregation in the stratosphere. In fact, Facebook wants to turn the whole web into your feed reader personnel.

Currently, the various social media sites contribute to part of the social graph. Yelp is mapping out the part of the graph that connects people to local businesses. With Open Graph, Facebook plans to provide these graphs together.

If you use Facebook, you may be surprised to discover that you are already in their new social graph. Go to Account> Privacy Settings and click Applications and websites. You will see Instant Personalization Pilot Program. Whenever you leave a Facebook application to access your profile information, read the Terms and Conditions for this application. Apps are needed for the privacy statements or Facebook or its conditions of use. They are third-party relationships, and when you share your Facebook information with them do it independently of Facebook. Apps are as much information on the Facebook profile leaks. Facebook should be more clear about this and should be more concerned about the privacy of users with regard to third-party applications, and it would not be surprising that their approach to application changes very soon.

Other sites that offer FacebookConnect are safe. FacebookConnect is a service that allows users to enjoy their Facebook relationships on other sites. Users can login with your Facebook username and password and see what your friends find interesting at a given site. The third-party website does not have access to your Facebook profile information.

Delivered by FeedBurner