4 things Facebook doesn't tell you about privacy, security
Experts say read between the lines of the Facebook experience and you may still discover some unsettling factors
May 12, 2010, 3:29 PM — Let us be perfectly clear: While Facebook has received a lot of criticism lately about its new privacy policies and Open Graph concept, which allows them to partner with other sites which will also have access to some Facebook user data, Facebook isn't explicitly keeping secrets from you. But some security professionals and users continually knock the site for what they say are less-than-clear explanations about where your data is going, and how secure the site really is.
Joey Tyson, a social media security expert who maintains the site Social Hacking, says there are important data security and privacy issues happening under the radar of the Facebook experience. This is what Facebook isn't saying outright to members.
We don't want you to change your privacy settings
Facebook's privacy policies have evolved dramatically in the last few years since the site launched--see the Electronic Freedom Foundation's timeline of Facebook's privacy policies. At Facebook's inception, privacy was tightly controlled by the users. Today, there are some parts of the profile that the user cannot make private. Other parts can be made private, but not without a lot of work figuring it out. Changing your privacy settings on Facebook has recently been called "today's version of programming the VCR," by some security professionals.
"Facebook has shown they have been pushing users to share more and share more openly," said Tyson. "And while they offer the user controls, what they seem to WANT people to do is share openly and share publicly." Tyson notes that it is important not to think Facebook doesn't offer privacy. Facebook wants members to use the site, even if it is in a private fashion. But that is not their preference. As a result, if you engage many of the privacy controls, you will be asked if you really want to do it.
When I joined FaceBook a few years ago. I did something that most people don't do... I read through their TOS (Terms of Service). And what I got out of it all, was... Anything and Everything you post on FaceBook.com becomes the property of FaceBook.com and they can and will use, sell, reproduce anything you post on FaceBook.com in any way the wish. Without owing you any payments, royalties or compensation of any kind. And by Clicking on I agree... You agree to these Terms of Service (TOS). Now, I write Songs and Sing and have two Albums posted on my Web Site, http://donsongs.com/ and on several other Social Sites across the Web. And never have I seen such a blatant attempt to steal peoples Digital Media, Music, Pictures and Writing on any other Site!:O So, I went ahead and joined FaceBook, because people I knew were already on there and I wanted to be able to contact them on there. Besides it was new and I didn't know that I would end up having now interest in the site or any of the goings on there. Or that I would actually never get on FaceBook in the future, except to answer someone who writes me on there. But I have never posted any of my music or any Pictures that I really care about on FaceBook.com, because I don't trust them! And by the way, I give my music away for free to anyone who wants to download it. But, I want to stay in Control of My Own Music! And I darn sure don't want someone or any Company profiting of my Music, which I have chosen to give away!!!