Daily Archives: May 12, 2010

On Facebook’s privacy bamboozlement

Check this out: Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options – Graphic – NYTimes.com. It also says that “Facebook says it wants to offer precise controls for sharing on the Internet.”. Frankly, that is nonsense. Facebook no doubt has many highly competent developers on staff. And any good developer would tell you that rather than have to make those settings at a lower level – as depicted in the diagram – you could be provided with the ability to set things at a higher level. For example, you should be able to have a “Friends Only” for each and every setting and have that set all at once. Facebook could then go through and make all those privacy settings to “Friends Only” all at once.

Instead, my belief is that Facebook sets those things to be public, and then makes YOU go through each and every one of those settings. Most people will not bother or give up.

That’s just one example of the bamboozlement. The fact that it’s privacy statement is so long is another.

Sad.

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“Privacy is dead” is dead

Or at least, there is an Oversharing Backlash based on this post on The Daily Dish  By Andrew Sullivan. His post has a rundown on how younger people are reining in the amount of sharing they are doing via the Internet. Some of this could be attributed to sharing fatigue (i.e. maybe people are tired of blogging). Some could also be attributed to younger people growing up and feeling that with more responsibility, the need to act more responsible on the ‘Net is greater. But I also think some of that is a growing awareness that the need to protect one’s privacy is important.

I expect to see more on this meme in the upcoming months. If someone is smart, they will come up with better privacy in the social networks they create. If they do, they could turn Facebook into the next MySpace / Friendster / AOL.

A driving maneuver I see on Toronto highways far too often…

..and a — ahem — appropriate comment to get with it.