Online Privacy

What this list demonstrates, however, is the tricky, complicated structure of Facebook Privacy settings - an issue that ended up under the spotlight earlier this year for being overly complex , prompting Facebook to redesign for Simplicity. (It still is not that).

Can the average end user read that checklist and really understand the nature of their photos' privacy? We would bet many will find it confusing. And even more wouldn't even care to try.

What are YOU Hiding?

Maybe it's time for everyone to give up on online privacy, anyway. I mean, who wants to share thoughts with only a few select friends, as Facebook was originally designed to allow? Isn't making everything you think, say or do available to the wider world best? Why should different groups of people know you in different ways? What are you trying to hide, pray tell? Your private, personal life? Your actual identity?

Ahem.

OK, I'm being a bit sarcastic here. But I'll admit, I'm more than a little suspicious of anyone who goes completely anonymous on the Internet today - especially those that run around in tech circles spouting off expert opinions hidden behind thinly veiled agendas to either affect stock prices, aid their employer, hide from their employer or even just post adoring praise about a newly launched startup. (Hello, hired PR flack!)

Increasingly, going online at all means giving up your privacy, your personal information and your anonymity. It's the beginning of the end, folks.

As for Facebook, it spent several months during 2010 under fire when it decided to default all te users content to Public including things like status updates, photos posted, links and videos, etc. because, you know, everyone wants everything to be public and the world would be a better place if that was the case. Well, thats Mark Zukerberg s agenda least. Eventually, some of these changes were rolled back and the new controls were put into place, but the company's crusade is far from over.

Now, Facebook is hard at work spreading "Instant Personalization" (the feature which gives select websites the ability to instantly tap into your Facebook profile information to customize their site) to even more online properties. Originally launched with Docs.com, Pandora and Yelp to the scrutiny of federal regulars, Facebook has recently expanded the program to Clicker, Bing, TripAdvisor, Rotten Tomatoes, and Scribd. The difference? This time around, no one seems to care.

The end of privacy and extreme openness seem to be to be the inevitable conclusion of a world cyberlinked together though the Internet. Information,as they say , wants to be free. From your Facebook photos to the private inner-workings of international diplomacy courtesy of Wikileaks. Managing online privacy is overly complex, businesses, marketers and advertisers want you to believe - it's easier to give up, give in and disclose.

Comments