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FaceBook playing games with privacy concerns

In the past few weeks FaceBook has been taking flak for privacy concerns with regards to their recent policy changes. These changes are wide and invasive, and set up a default condition for ALL users - new and current - of sharing your profile information with 3rd party sources without your knowledge. Unless you count telling you that the policies have changed, but not the impact of those changes, as letting you know about things. If you do not want your information to be that public, you now have to go in and override the default settings. And hope no one has harvested your information before you have done so. And you also have to hope that the next set of policy changes do not undo your settings, again.

FaceBook has taken to what I consider politician type moves to appease critics. They are making statements like "we treat the concerns seriously and we are looking into them", or "we have called an all employee meeting to discuss privacy issues". These are simply misleading and aim to give some credibility while doing nothing.

Form your own opinion of course, as I have come to realize I have a very narrow (and often jaded) view of things where large corporations are involved. But do the research, and you'll likely find that there is extremely little out there that supports FaceBook that is not published or sponsored by FaceBook themselves. I have seen nothing from any of the FaceBook application developers that say "it doesn't work that way, we can only access certain information pertinent to our app".

SlashDot is featuring an article on the issue today. It is titled in a way to make you think that FaceBook is trying to do right. But when you read the article summary, or the article itself, you find that these new approaches are again misleading while doing nothing. Change #1 is to allow you to identify your computer - home, work, school, etc. - to supposedly trigger a further security check/question if someone accesses your account from a computer not on the list. This does NOTHING to actually stop abuse, and in fact gives FaceBook even MORE private information about you. This allows them to determine if you are accessing them from work, or home, or school. Yet more info they can sell. Change #2 is equivalent to a security question when you have forgotten your password. Security experts have debunked this approach MANY times in the past. A little careful analysis of the information that is available about you (primarily via FaceBook (ironically), but also via Google searches) and the questions can be easily circumvented. And again this does NOTHING to address the privacy concerns.

No, if privacy really were a concern for FaceBook, they would not be applying these lame-ass politician type techniques after the fact. Your privacy would have been considered when building the system and the policies were being established. FaceBook makes their money by encouraging you (or your friends) to share as much personal information about yourself as possible - either knowingly, or inadvertently - so that they can collect and sell this information to advertisers, corporations, or anyone willing to pay them for that info. Your privacy does not factor into that equation.