Tag Archives: facebook privacy

Is privacy dead?

We’re all used to ticking opt out boxes to keep our details hidden but in a world where everyone is connected over the media of the internet, is the ability to control who has access really that secure?

I’ve had this debate with so many clients, friends and family members and it comes hand in hand with just about every mention of Facebook (I’ll point out now that 95% of these conversations are with older generations).

How many times have I heard ‘But I don’t want people to know what I’m up to every minute of the day’ and then two seconds later a shrieking squeal followed by ‘Ooh look at that picture, my how he’s grown! Quick flick through the other pictures so I can see…’

There are many critics of the internet, Steve Rambam a private investigator specialising in internet cases once said ‘Privacy is dead – get over it’. He may be right, if someone digs hard enough they could probably find some dirt on me but I publicly display what I want people to see and control how that is presented. It seems more that it’s the lack of understanding that people are afraid of.

So in simple words these are the things you need to check for if you’re nervous:

  • Who your information will be passed to
  • Why the information is being collected (if you allow it to be)
  • How the information will be used and when
  • How you can access information the organisation holds about you

All this can be found in any disclaimer for any site you visit or use.

With particular reference to Facebook, read this blog by my friend and colleague Jim. Here he talks specifically about Facebook Privacy. I think you’ll find it very useful.

I don’t really have an answer for you all, being immersed in the digital world I suppose I have more trust in it, I’m just as wary of the next door neighbour who constantly tries to steal my raspberries, the man in the shop who tries to short change me and the estate agents not doing a very good job of selling my house. None of whom I deal with online.

I guess really it’s just having the understanding to make an informed decision about what you share… what do you think?

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What does Facebook publish about you and your friends?

Facebook privacy has been a hot topic for a while now, it’s certainly something I get asked a lot about by those not too familiar with the privacy settings.

Because the settings are too ‘hidden’ or difficult to understand for a vast amount of users, the result is a lot of personal information being publicly available which some users might not want air.

Coupled with the fact that Facebook aren’t particularly forthcoming with how to use the privacy settings it’s no wonder there’s still nervousness around a social network that equals the 4th biggest country in the world.

So if you really want to find out what people can publicly see then here’s a handy tool to help you. This tool requests all data from Facebook’s new api to see what information is available, you simply enter your Facebook username, name, email address or a related keyword and it will display all the information  publicly available.

Be warned you might be suprised at just how much is broadcast…

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