Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why we should leave Facebook

Facebook could sell our personal information and we would not be able to do anything about it. Facebook could lead to your identity stolen.  Facebook itself admits that it cannot completely protect your sensitive information.  In Facebook's Privacy policy they say, "Although we allow you to set privacy options that limit access to your information, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. We cannot control the actions of other users with whom you share your information. We cannot guarantee that only authorized persons will view your information. We cannot ensure that information you share on Face book will not become publicly available. We are not responsible for third party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on Facebook."  If your identity was stolen, Facebook would just say too bad for you.  They will not even care, but would say it was your own fault for trusting them.

What if you delete your account?  They state, " When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted from Facebook."  But Facebook contradicts itself.  Facebook could still keep that information.  They say, "Additionally, we may retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested."  What does "certain information" mean  and why does Facebook have the right to keep it after you delete your account? 

If Facebook already provides our information to advertisers on their website, who will stop them from sharing more sensitive material to other companies?  Facebook admits that they provide your information to advertisers, "We may provide information to service providers that help us bring you the services we offer. For example, we may use third parties to help host our website, send out email updates about Facebook, remove repetitive information from our user lists, process payments, or provide search results or links (including sponsored links). These service providers may have access to your personal information for use for a limited time, but when this occurs we implement reasonable contractual and technical protections to limit their use of that information to helping us provide the service."

What if Facebook is sold and some new company is now in charge.  Will the new company be able to sell all of our information?  Facebook says, " If the ownership of all or substantially all of our business changes, we may transfer your information to the new owner so that the service can continue to operate. In such a case, your information would remain subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Policy."  That means that the new company will be able to share as much as Facebook is sharing now, but that new company would have the right to change the privacy policy, just as Facebook has the right to change the privacy policy.

Facebook has the right to change the privacy policy, when ever they want to.  They sated, "We can change this Statement if we provide you notice (by posting the change on the Facebook Site Governance Page) and an opportunity to comment."  That means that they can change the privacy policy at any time if they want to and you would not be able to do a thing about it.

What about Mark Zuckerberg? Would he ever sell this information?  Well he has already changed the privicy policy and said," When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was 'why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?'"
And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds of information, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.
We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are."

Who gave you the right to say what information is shared and what is not? Is that not the right of the user to say what is done with our personal information?  If some people want to share their information fine, but why should we be forced to share our information? 

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don't know why.

Zuck: They "trust me"

Zuck: Dumb f***s.

So why do we trust Facebook at all?

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