HomeFacebookOn the Eve of the Latest Facebook Privacy Fix


On the Eve of the Latest Facebook Privacy Fix — 6 Comments

  1. You make super great points, Ben. It has become almost like the old “Doctor, it hurts when I do this” joke.

    As for me, I joined FaceBook late, 2009, with a set of assumptions, and then the rules fundamentally changed after I was significantly invested. I felt a bit like Lando when Vader “Altered the deal”. I now find I have to use FaceBook to remain in the loop socially, as it has replaced both Gmail and Evite in my circles. So I use it like some use Plaxo, to stay in touch, but not to share delicate information.

    I felt compelled to contribute to the http://www.joindiaspora.com movement, just because it was so gutsy. We’ll see what they can build. But you’re right: Don’t send money to Nigeria, don’t open an “I love you” attachment and don’t put you authentications tokens on a public website.

  2. Tristan,
    It’s a tricky balance. Personally, Facebook has provided the vehicle for reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in decades. Professionally, I try to provide guidance to ~19K faculty and staff about how to use social media safely. My key messages are that once you put something out on the web it’s there to stay, you don’t know who will look at it, and that you need to make informed choices about what information you share.

    Diaspora sounds intriguing.

  3. Ben – some great points here. While I think Facebook has increasingly gotten away from what’s best for its users, we also have a responsibility in monitoring what we put out there. A big part of this is that a lot of times users simply don’t know what’s going on there.

    Many social media users are involved in several forms of social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.), but think about all the ones that only use Facebook and aren’t exposed to the kind of information those other forms give about what’s happening in technology, security, and on the internet at large. And Facebook hasn’t always been as upfront and clear about their changes in security etc. as they should be for the less knowledgeable users.

    • Hi Alyssa,
      I/we regularly post social media safety tips through the RIT Information Security Facebook page. We’ve developed a pretty good following (membership contests for the students helps!). IMHO, it’s a great source for relevant up-to-date information. There are other Facebook sources of online safety info, but the key is getting all of the Facebook-only users to fan/like those sites and pay attention to what’s posted.

      I agree that Facebook hasn’t always operated in the best interests of its users.

  4. Great points. I’m resisting “Facey-Face” (with apologies to the Advocate columnist from whom I stole that phrase ;>) as long as I can, but I suspect that soon the Borg will inform me that resistance is futile.

  5. Ben,

    Great points and I agree completely that users lacking awareness happily agree to the user license agreements and then willingly share personal information that can put them at risk for identity theft, banking fraud, etc.

    I posted a similar blog last week (http://blog.awareity.com/). It is critical that end users become more responsible and accountable for protecting their personal information, rather than placing the blame on free social networks.