Of late, people have begun to worry about their online privacy and the way websites use their info0rmtion a lot.
This apprehension has turned into a sort of fear psychosis after Facebook announced it Timeline and ticker features, both of which infringe upon privacy issues and make information that should rather be private, available to most people. While the good old saying that you should not be sharing if you don’t want people to know is one of the arguments put forward by pro-Facebook people, Facebook’s new features including ‘Frictionless Sharing‘ has caused concern even among the most hardcore Facebook fans.
Facebook Timeline offers a digital dossier of your life for your friends and others to view, use and do whatever they might want to do with it. While this can still be tweaked with certain privacy settings, ‘Frictionless Sharing’ has caused a lot of fear and apprehension even among celebri9ty bloggers such as Pete Cashmore from Mashable.
The Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC), American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Digital Democracy and others have presented an official and comprehensive letter to the Federal Trade Commission. The letter implies that Facebook may be indulging in deceptive and unfair trade practices. In what Facebook likes to call ‘Frictionless Sharing;, one does not have to ‘like’ something. Apps that you use on Facebook, or the apps that you grant permission to use your Facebook account can reveal all your activities to your friends and everyone else without censoring anything.
For instance, Spotify music app automatically reveals all the songs that you listen to in the ticker and also on the Timeline. Of course, the basis of this technology is the tremendous amount of brand platform that Facebook’s advertising partners would get access to. It would become very easy for ad partners to sell goods that they want regardless of the privacy settings of a Facebook user. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently angered a lot of people when he suggested that it is people who want to share more information than they would want to, and that Facebook only thinks it is right to do so.
Recently, it was also noted that Facebook tracks users’ web activities even after they logout. Blogger Nik Cubrilovic found that out, and has published ways to keep your Facebook account private and secure. Of course, Facebook will eventually have to bow down to pressure from all sides to stop sharing information. On the other hand, it is quite possible that people share information and activities without their knowledge when they continue to use third party apps which are given complete access to one’s account. You could also read about how Facebook Timeline was sued recently.
Thanks to Natasha for the tip