April 30, 2010

Seriously, you thought you could hide forever

I am sure my mother had eyes in the back of her head. I am sure the sun will rise tomorrow. I am equally sure that if I say or do something on a computer or device connected to a network I give up the right to privacy.

Perhaps it comes from growing up in a community where many eyes watched and reported the moves of members. Or maybe I learned that private actions are limited while digging through reports, listening to speeches and asking questions to create articles for newspapers, the web and books.

Or maybe I've lived through enough private networks becoming public, seen enough innovations wipe out previous practices and endured company ownership changes that render lifetime guarantees useless.

Teach privacy impossible

So Facebook wants to take over the world.So Facebook will learn more about me if I share my likes within  and off site. We already knew our reputations are dead.

Rather then worrying about teaching people how to keep their behaviors, thoughts and actions quiet why don't we teach them the basic truth that if you share it online someone will find it.  Yesterday it was Google. Today it is Facebook. Let's see who is next.

That's a long way of saying I don't see why someone  would be gleeful that they've managed to fool Facebook by listing concepts and values as interests and activities, a move that ensures useful ads are not served. I don't get playing hide and seek on Facebook.

One last time

I actually like those programs that tell me who I'm following across social networks, that serve up suggestions of what or who I might like.

I agree with Chris O'Brien in the San Jose Mercury News that the benefits of a Facebook monster is that I don't have to keep reinventing my profiles.

Says O'Brien in Sorry, Google, but Facebook is the Web's most important company now:

"The problem with the social Web until now is that each time you joined a new site, you had to create a new identity and refind your friends and drag them along with you. That's a pain, and each time you really had to think about how much time you wanted to invest. You had to build dozens of social networks, try to manage them and remember to check them."

But the changes mean, O'Brien explained, that "now, your Facebook network will just travel with you seamlessly across the Web ... This will make social networking far simpler and more effective for the vast majority of users."

It does means Facebook has a ton of information about me. I'm OK with that. So does my credit card company, Comcast and a ton of others. Unfortunately, a Freedom of Information Act request won't let me know what all they know.

Just go, will you?

I'm OK with Tyler Romeo "not to be a copycat or anything but I'm leaving Facebook." He's going to leave a lot of things through the years.

Nothing in the conversation that followed when Louis Gray shared it on Google Buzz persuaded me to follow Romeo's example.

I still believe don't say it or do it if you don't want to see it on the front page of your "local newspaper." It's just that these days my "local newspaper" has morphed into a global online network.


Post a Comment