Archive for Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Facebook privacy boycott planned

May 19, 2010


Paul Barbanes likes to think of Facebook the same way he thinks of other Web activity: when he buy something online, he expects that the retailer won’t share his credit card information.

So when he realized that the latest iteration of Facebook’s privacy changes would allow sites he had become a fan of, or liked, to share that knowledge with other websites, he felt betrayed.

“It’s less about privacy,” said Barbanes, 52, a Miami-based branding consultant. “People were putting a lot of trust in Facebook — and I think Facebook broke that trust.”

As a result, Barbanes said he’s joining a fledging boycott that was started last week asking people to stay off Facebook June 6 to protest recent privacy changes.

Barbanes is one of a growing number of people I’ve seen who are acting on their frustration with Facebook over the past few weeks. Facebook, which says it has 400 million active users, did not respond to my request to talk to them about this story.

Alana Joy, who started the site organizing the June 6 event, said she is more upset about the way Facebook has made changes, rather than what’s changed.

“Just because you post something online doesn’t mean it’s for the whole wide world to see,” said Joy, a Los Angeles-based marketing strategist who doesn’t use her full legal name online, and professionally, because of privacy issues.

Her biggest gripe?

“They also didn’t explain the changes (in a way) that my 18-year-old sister and my grandmother can understand,” said Joy.

Lior Leser, an Internet lawyer who actually writes similar privacy policies, agreed with Joy.

“The problem is they never really present what’s happening,” said Leser, who is with the Miami Beach, Fla., firm Leser Hunter Taubman Taubman. “How about, ’Hey, we’re a free service, but this is how we use your information to sell ads — that’s how we make money.”

I printed out Facebook’s privacy policy: it’s five, single-space pages of type that’s at least half the size of regular newspaper characters.

As for Joy, it’s too late. She plans to delete her Facebook account after June 6.

“I don’t want to have anything to do with any website that is closing off the Internet the way Facebook is,” she said.


Paul R Getto 7 years, 10 months ago

FaceBook is becoming a victim of their own success. Look for an alternative with better security to soon arise. I saw an article this morning where high school students are getting wise enough to use 'slightly' fake names and be more careful when posting. Colleges and employers are checking out Facebook to get a hint of a young person's character. Those who think their 'private' comments and pictures are not available to others may be shocked someday when they show up for an interview. As in all matters, moderation on the Internet is a wise course of action.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 10 months ago

Just my opinion; there is some good when it comes to Facebook (or any of the other social networks) but overall it does more harm than good.

No facebook, myspace or tweeting for me. (Again, just my choice.)

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