Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Why I Am Not on Facebook - Privacy

Warning Shot for Social Network: German Minister Launches Attack on Facebook - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
In its recently updated privacy agreement, Facebook stated that it would begin providing general information about users to third sites -- "previously vetted operators of Web sites and applications." The company wrote: "In order to provide you with useful social experiences off of Facebook, we occasionally need to provide General Information about you to pre-approved third party Web sites and applications that use Platform at the time you visit them (if you are still logged in to Facebook)."

Among the pieces of data the company is considering sharing is a person's name, gender, profile picture or current location. The data would be shared automatically, and users would not be asked for their permission -- although Facebook will offer an opt-out.
And on privacy of data in general...
Facebook does not respect this wish [to keep private data private], a fact that was confirmed in a recent study by the German consumer organization Stiftung Warentest. Facebook fares badly in this study. Facebook was graded as 'poor' in respect of user-data privacy and user rights. Facebook also refused to provide information on data security -- it was awarded a '5' (=poor) in this category as well.
Privacy is in short supply in the 21st Century, I see no reason to add to the mess. (Use Scroogle instead of Google, etc.)

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