2010-10-12

Facebook's Worrying Privacy Changes

Over the last few months, there have been myriad changes to Facebook's privacy policy, many of them for the worse (in terms of being able to maintain privacy). This one (Robert McMillan, PCWorld via Yahoo! News), however, seems really bad, not least because Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was himself a victim of this change in the privacy policy. Basically, this new "feature" allows people to unilaterally make their friends members of groups. However, if the friend leaves that group, the original person can no longer make the friend part of any more groups. The problem with this, of course, is that unless there's some sort of notification about being made a member of a group, people won't know in what groups they are members; even if there are notifications, they will likely be ignored anyway (as they already often are). Groups and pages can often extract information from people's profiles even if those people have chosen to make certain information private, which is why this is so problematic. Considering Mark Zuckerberg was made to be a member of the NAMBLA Facebook group, I'm a little scared, honestly. People who know me on Facebook, can you please do me a favor and not be a jerk (by unilaterally making me a member of a group or a fan of a page)? I'm trying to stay away from all groups and pages that don't have to do with my high school and/or college, because I don't want other random groups and/or pages to have access to my personal information.

2 comments:

  1. Now you can use Facebook but still keep your messages private. And you don't have to depend on Facebook privacy settings. Just ‘CLOAK’ your messages with your own private keyword using the free CloakGuard browser plugin. This garbles your message and only the people you've shared your keyword with (and not Facebook) can read your messages.

    Free Cloakguard plugin for Facebook available from:
    Download - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/194385/
    Demo - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qN3TBqx08

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  2. @Anonymous: It certainly sounds interesting, but won't this only affect new messages? How will this work on static content like information on my profile (e.g. birthday, political affiliation, music, etc.)? Anyway, thanks for the information!

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