[Update] Adding links and references as they bubble up on this topic…
There has been a range of news recently about Facebook’s latest approach to users’ privacy.
Wired has an article – Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative – explaining the concern being raised by many. By default, Facebook is now connecting and publishing every piece of data you choose to share on the platform. You may think you are only sharing your photos with your friends and family, but you are granting permission for Facebook to share your content with everyone and anyone on the Internet.
Robert Scoble has an article – Much ado about privacy on Facebook – with the counter argument. That we’re kidding ourselves if we ever thought anything we share on a computer, especially one connected to a network, is private. Facebook is just exploiting that which others have exploited less visibly (or easily – and that’s the key difference) in the past, and in the process helping people find what they need in ways Google never can.
Facebook is transitioning from a site for building social networks between friends to being one giant social network. A new mesh of connected personalised data is being created that has never before been possible. And that mesh is being shared with whatever organisations Facebook chooses to do business with. At the same time as we are seeing new tools arise that can mine massive amounts of data for patterns and profiling… We don’t yet know what all the implications – good and bad – will be. And whilst Robert highlights the good, history tells us there will also be bad. This is a live experiment that over 400 million people (and that’s just the active users) unknowingly volunteered to participate in.
Related Blog Posts
- Do search and social networks mix? – March 2010
- Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative – Wired
- Much ado about privacy on Facebook – Robert Scoble
- Facebook’s “Evil Interfaces” – Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Top 10 reasons you should quit Facebook – rocket.ly
- Facebook Statistics – Facebook Pressroom (as published on 9th May 2010)
- Infographic: Facebook privacy options – New York Times
Other posts of interest on this topic:
- The Facebook Alienation: Pleasing the Wrong Stakeholders – Strategyist, May 2010
- Why I am using Google Buzz as an alternative to Facebook – Louis Gray, May 2010
- Publicly searching Facebook status updates – TechCrunch, May 2010
- Facebook as a utility, utilities get regulated – Danah Boyd, May 2010
- Goodbye Facebook – Neville Hobson, May 2010
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joining Dots. Joining Dots said: New blog post: Lessons from Facebook’s experiments http://bit.ly/aoNE8l […]
As an addendum, a lot of conversations are talking about whether or not people will leave Facebook. I suspect not many will leave completely, deleting their accounts. But I do believe their use of and dependency on Facebook will diminish, in ways that will impact Facebook’s ability to commercialise customers’ activities.