Facebook Behaving Badly

Facebook continues its bad behavior around user privacy.

The difference between Facebook’s public commentary on new features and the actual privacy implications of such features could not be more stark. Consider this tidbit from the EFF, Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information, about a change that Facebook made just days ago, on April 19: :

“Once upon a time, Facebook could be used simply to share your interests and information with a select small community of your own choosing. As Facebook’s privacy policy once promised, ‘No personal information that you submit to Facebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.’

How times have changed.

Today, Facebook removed its users’ ability to control who can see their own interests and personal information. Certain parts of users’ profiles, ‘including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests’ will now be transformed into ‘connections,’ meaning that they will be shared publicly. If you don’t want these parts of your profile to be made public, your only option is to delete them.”

This is not good for users at all. This is Facebook making decisions that are clearly in their own best interests and NOT in the best interests of their users. And, frankly, this continues Facebook’s bad behavior regarding privacy. I’m completely blown away by their bullshit rhetoric around “connecting to everything you care about”.

On second thought, though, should we be surprised? At this point it is clear that Mark Zuckerberg & Co. doesn’t care about user privacy. From Facebook Beacon (see Facebook’s Brilliant but Evil Design) to the story of how Facebook was founded, it is abundantly clear that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t give a damn about rights to privacy.

Published: April 21st, 2010