Baby did a bad bad thing:
When Facebook’s users clicked on ads appearing on a profile page, the site would at times provide data such as the username behind the click, as well as the user whose profile page from which the click came. “If you are looking at your profile page and you click on an ad, you are telling that advertiser who you are,” Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman told the Journal.
And then there’s this:
May has been a bad month for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who just turned 26 last Friday but spent his birthday wrestling with an uproar over Facebook’s privacy practices. The latest unwelcome gift: accusations of securities fraud from former Harvard schoolmates who say he and other Facebook executives tricked them into a supposed $65 million settlement that was actually worth far less.
Though it’s pretty outrageous that Facebook is sharing that much data with advertisers, and that their privacy settings are so baroque, I do have to agree with the underlying point of this headine: “Facebook Users Outraged That Personal Information They Currently Share With Distant Acquaintances and Friends of Friends May Now Be Seen By Strangers”.
Bill E Pilgrim
Wait, you mean this isn’t Facebook?
No wonder none of my “friend” requests are answered.
When Harvard guys into finance stop playing valuation games… that’s when I worry.
I like to compare social media to open markets. It’s a sign of the universal power of capitalism in today’s world, that you show yourself to the world without knowing who you invite. Pure capitalism demands complete openness and it goes hand-in-hand with the Information Age. Your personality becomes a product, your name a brand, etc… (South Park did it better than I can).
However, it’s not just all bad, social media also break down cultural and social borders. It’s a mixed bag.
OK, so maybe working in IT security made me paranoid before paranoid was cool but I have had a FB account for a couple of years now & am not the least bit worried. Why? Because it contains less information about me than this comment does. It is set up under a fake yahoo account name, does not list my gender (which drives FB crazy, it asks me to answer a “his/her” question almost every day) my city (although that is trivial to figure out unless I am running TOR) date of birth, or any other question.
Now this violates FB policy and the account will be closed if they figure that out but who cares really? My family and friends know who I am my old high school stalkers can’t find me.
BTW – the moran that runs LifeLock & publishes his SS number on his ads? Yesterday admitted that his SS number has been used (successfully) fraudulently at least 13 times. So you all go ahead and post your private info on line, be the low hanging fruit.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Shanna, they bought their tickets…they knew what they were getting into. I say, let ’em crash.
http://www.reclaimprivacy.org/ has written an easy “scan for privacy” tool that will tell you if your FB account is leaking private data, and show you which setting to change to fix it. If you care.
Privacy is an illusion on the internets. Hell, my computer knows more about me than I know about myself. But FB does seem to be more prone to hackers. Which I why I don’t use the apps or take quizzes anymore.
And point well taken about comment sections being less private than FB. I have a stalker at DetNews who has apparently dug up everything on the internets that I ever said, or was said about me. He recently posted a comment I made here three years ago to our comment board.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Wait, you mean this isn’t eBalloon Juice?
No wonder none of my “r u plump and juicy” questions were ever answered.
@Joey Maloney: This looks like a very useful tool. Thanks for the link.
It’s kinda funny in my case, because this:
is exactly what I am doing on the Internet in my quest to become an Internationally Known Internet Cat Guru.
However, if I were a more private citizen with a big sensitive job, I can see how random Facebook stalking could become a serious issue.
“former Harvard schoolmates who say he and other Facebook executives tricked them into a supposed $65 million settlement that was actually worth far less.”
Isn’t an Ivy League education supposed to give you tools to avoid this sort of thing? Or at least teach you to hire a lawyer when there’s millions at stake?
And how it even ranks as high as an illusion I will never know. You don’t have to be the low hanging fruit but you at least need to realize that you are still on the tree and if somebody really wants to get to you they can.
Privacy is kind of like the free market. It exists only in the imagination.
C’mon, this isn’t that difficult….the difference here is consensual sharing…..let’s stop with the ‘they were asking for it’ trope already.
Exactly. This sounds like the “but she dressed slutty” defense.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Obligatory xkcd reference.
I’m sure it means something when headlines that should be Onion headlines appear elsewhere than the Onion. Not sure what though. The coming apocalypse, cats sleeping with dogs, end of the world as we know it, something.
Insert obligatory comment about reality overtaking satire here.
This! This! A hundred times THIS!
I don’t understand why people keep acting like anyone who is on facebook should just expect that everything is available to everyone.
Just because I choose to share some info with some people doesn’t somehow mitigate in the lease the fact that FB is unilaterally deciding to share that info with the world without my knowledge and against my wishes, and sharing things with advertisers in a sneaky and deceptive manner
The whole “there is no privacy on the internet” meme is aggravating. Privacy isn’t a binary thing. It’s a continuum. A person can want more or less privacy depending on their comfort level. And it should be up to the individual to decide how much or how little they want to share, whether that’s done via privacy settings, or up front terms of service and explanations about what info is or isn’t shared when using a site.
Just because some people don’t care what they share doesn’t mean no one does or that people’s privacy concerns are a joke. It’s like some people are trying to convince the rest of us that privacy is an illusion. May complete and total privacy is, but it’s not a YES/NO situation.
The reason they have all those privacy options in the first place is because FB is trying to give you the impression that they are letting *YOU* control how much info you share with the public or your friends or you “network” or your friends of friends or what have you.
Just because I want to share personal info with my relatives and friends around the country doesn’t mean that I’m a fool for expecting that info to be shared ONLY with the people I choose.
Seriously. It’s a bulletin board, folks. That’s all it is. How personal is the information people are posting? I understand the concerns over privacy, but why would you post something so private on the internet, anyway? My FB posts consist of dumb jokes, article recommendations, youtube videos and shoutouts. In short, nothing that I would care whether a stranger saw them or not. And my settings are pretty locked down.
“http://www.reclaimprivacy.org/ has written an easy “scan for privacy” tool that will tell you if your FB account is leaking private data, and show you which setting to change to fix it. If you care. ”
Of course, as a side effect, it harvests your data into ITS computers ;)
If the tool is a list of the checks you need to make, that is one thing.
If instead, you run a tool, made by someone else, using your permissions, on FB, then you depend 100% on the kindness of reclaimprivacy to secure your privacy.
All I gotta say is that Facebook could have done it differently. They could have preserved a substantial amount of privacy and still gotten $$$ from data-mining, but without letting any Tom, Dick, or Internet-Harry see personal info.
This latest bit, where an advertiser gets profile information is so that a travel agency can say in an ad: Hey, you and Sally both like pre-Columbian Inca art, so why don’t you book flight to Peru?
The theory is that because your friend Sally is mentioned, it’s more likely you will pay for a service (or product).
I have my doubts that a banner ad, no matter how personalized, is going to be seen as some sort of warm/personal/friendly agent.
The reason why this “the Internet is not private” meme holds is because people are total fucking morons about what they share on the Internet. And it’s been especially the case with Facebook for a long time. We’ve all heard the stories about how college students who didn’t scrub their profiles of pictures of them drunk off their asses at parties were pretty much unemployable. But I don’t think the rest of the general population is any better, especially after perusing Failbook.
Probably the best thing that can happen through all of this is to get people to stop for a second and think “Hey, maybe I don’t want my boss to see that.”
When I sign up for a service that offers privacy settings, I expect that service to keep its word. Facebook has been a great tool for reconnecting and keeping in touch with people I care about who I don’t have time to talk to frequently. I keep my so-called privacy settings locked down and only “friend” people I actually want to know my business — no random coworkers, no former classmates I wasn’t close to, no friends of friends.
I don’t think using it makes me any more naive than anyone else who’s ever read a contract and expected it to be kept. Facebook is a company that has deceived its clientele. I’ll jump to the first social networking site I can find that offers real privacy, but how about we save the sarcasm for the perpetrators, not the victims.
swiped from someecards.com “I can’t believe there are so many privacy risks involved in broadcasting my entire life on Facebook.”
plus, i found this two minute video on how to change your privacy settings quite useful :
Wait, I’m older than Mark Zuckerberg? What the hell.
I found today’s xkcd to be both amusing and relevant to this issue.
I’ve adjusted all my privacy settings so that only friends can see anything on my FB profile, and it isn’t accessible via google search. But still, I don’t post anything on my profile (or on my friends’ profiles) that I’m not comfortable with random strangers seeing. My friends list is the only thing that FB won’t let me lock down, and a dedicated stalker could probably figure out where I’m likely to hang out on a Saturday night just by checking out my friends, but that possibility doesn’t make me lose sleep at night. A casual stalker could find my phone number and home address in about 5 seconds on the internet, and in a few minutes they could find out my most recent employer, what kind of car I drive, where my parents live, and what I did last summer. The genie is already out of the bottle, so to speak.
I only use FB for sharing links to silly youtube videos, signing ineffective petitions, and getting invited to parties. If it weren’t for the social event calendar function, I would have deleted my profile a long time ago.
Is…is this “Facebook” the same as “teh Facebooks”?
I remember the good ol’ days back in 05 when FB was only accessible to college students and you needed a valid college email address. The minute they let high school students use it and people with private emails use it…it went downhill. That had to be expected given how popular FB became, but then the apps…its been even more downhill ever since.
If Facebook has “privacy settings” that claim to allow users to control who sees their information, then if those settings don’t actually do that but instead reveal the information to various third parties of questionable reliability, then the problem is Facebook being fraudulent, not people being
dressed sluttily naive investors who should’ve expected to be fleecedidiots who deserve whatever they get.
Further, the fact that someone posts some photos or other information to Facebook does not mean that they should obviously expect Facebook to start tracking their movements on the web and reporting those movements to anyone Facebook feels like exposing them to. People may expect a certain lack of privacy on Facebook itself, but most people don’t expect that signing up for Facebook should mean the end of anonymity when browsing all websites.