Mia Eaton addresses Facebook's "Instant Personalization" and lets you know why you may want to triple check your privacy settings.
" had Internet users and privacy advocates in an uproar. This new "connection" policy automatically shares detailed profile information such as likes, dislikes, employment, and political affiliations with the complete list of your friends, not just with your "friends" on Facebook, but with pretty much any and all comers: companies and third party "applications" (fly-by-night startups,
marketers, and the like).
Like any social media, Facebook is great for finding and catching up with old friends, sharing photos, interests, and current event-type stuff. "Increasingly, however, it is used by companies to generate a buzz about their products or to trawl for information. And this is where things get tricky," writes Bryan Appleyard
for Times Online
Even Facebook's former Privacy Officer, Chris Kelly, has spoken out
against the fact that users' accounts are automatically set to "opt in" to immediately begin sharing and distributing their data to countless third parties.
This latest announcement has led to a rush of creeped out and uneasy Facebook users scrambling to learn how to opt out of this new policy
, for which there aren't always clear or direct instructions. Try these instructions for opting out
. A good first step is to go check your Facebook Settings
Some folks don't see what all the fuss is about, but it becomes pretty clear, once you step back and see the larger picture.
This isn't the first time, or even the third or fourth time that users and privacy advocates have been horrified over Facebook's practices. This article presents a solid case for deleting one's account
Some users are deactivating their accounts, but be forwarned, deactivating doesn't mean much—one must delete
their account to stop having their data accessible on Facebook itself, but even then they don't guarantee that it goes *poof* from their databases, and it certainly can't guarantee this of third party databases.
Update: A very informative (and scary) post this morning from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Six Things You Need to Know about Facebook Connections
Personally, I would delete my Facebook account (I've wanted to many times over), but as a web and social media professional, I have to stay connected so I can know what I'm talking about. Chalk it up to taking one for the team.
Facebook users, how aware of this new policy were you, and how do you feel about it? Will it affect your usage in any way?