Well, by now, if you use Facebook, you may have heard that the community website that is loved and adored by some 400 million people worldwide is once again under scrutiny for their privacy ethics. I never was a fan of Facebook from the beginning, in fact I ignored an invitation from my son to join the site for over a year before deciding to see what all the hype was about.
Once I was a member, I wasn’t exactly wowed by what I saw. What people are thinking or doing all the time is, well, really none of my business. And what I’m thinking or doing all the time is no one’s business either. Whatever happened to keeping things personal? I think its sad that our society has adopted such a desire to tell everyone what is going on in our lives.
There were a couple of times when I was tempted to leave Facebook, but couldn’t really find a valid reason. I tightened up the security settings on my account to the point where I really didn’t exist and merely used the site as a means to keep in touch with family members. I didn’t post images, I didn’t play those senseless games, and I rarely wrote on anyone’s wall. For me, it was just another email inbox.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was this latest resurgence in Facebook’s lack of its users privacy. It was bad enough that all the default privacy settings left things wide open and you had to turn them off to make your profile more secure, but to initiate a concept called “Open Graph” where loads of other websites are equipped with Facebook-like functionality, and to have your information open to these sites by default, well that’s morally and ethically wrong in my opinion. You shouldn’t have to change your settings to opt out of something that shares your online preferences, you should have to opt in. We aren’t even given a choice from the beginning with Facebook.
I am not a public figure so I don’t expect to have a lot of traffic on this blog post, but I support the decision of a well known technology expert named Leo Laporte to delete his Facebook account. And I support the theory behind his decision where he doesn’t feel right about keeping his account open since he feels he is “coercing people” he’s in relationships with “to do something bad”. You can read the story on CNN’s website here, but be careful, CNN has a relationship with Facebook that uses that Open Graph technology.
If you are someone who knows me personally, you will no longer find me on Facebook. If you don’t have my email address, you’ll find on on my Contact right here on this site.