The Problems of Privacy on Social Networking

As those who know me will testify I am no longer young, and while I think as “young” as I can, inevitably my attitudes reflect those of my generation to some extent. One aspect of the younger generations that I struggle with is their blas√© attitude to privacy. We who were brought up on stories of the horrors of state surveillance in the Soviet block value our privacy, but the interconnected internet world has produced a generation¬† who think nothing of sharing their most intimate secrets online, often to “friends”. Even the occasional stories of people being fired for making comments about their work doesn’t seem to deter them.

Now being an SEO means I have to advise clients about their online exposure and inevitably the global success of Facebook means that they come up in such conversations. However I myself have been extremely wary of Facebook due to the various cavalier changes they’ve made to their user’s privacy settings and I am deeply suspicious of any system that can be used to join up databases of people’s activities and opinions and expose them to other agencies – whether those agencies are governmental or advertising,¬† insurance companies or marketing.

I do use Twitter but I’m careful how I use it. I don’t have a personal Facebook account and although I did once toy with a company account I never completed it as it required a personal one to go with it and I can’t even access it now to delete it.

Today I noticed two posts:

Facebook Removes User Profile Rights and Choices by Kim Krause Berg


F*ck Facebook and the Facebook Personalization program by Alan Bleiweiss (reader of a delicate disposition be warned)

which details two new sets of changes to how Facebook operate. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions but for me it confirms all my worst fears, and confirms that I will never have a Facebook account.


The Problems of Privacy on Social Networking — 1 Comment

  1. Thanks for bringing up the topic.
    This aspect of social media marketing has put a lot of question marks over how much a site is to be involved in SEM and SEO/SEM professionals along with webmasters are having tough time to decide how much to expose!