Facebook’s Places adds to privacy concerns
It was inevitable that Facebook’s new Places application would reignite the debate over privacy. As we wrote last week,
Places allows Facebook members to “check in” at various locations and
“tag” friends to let people know who else is there. The concerns center
around whether the member’s friends have given their permission to be
tagged or whether it can happen without their consent.
launch announcement last week, Facebook executives clearly demonstrated
that they have learned from past mistakes and tackled the privacy
concerns head on. The question is whether their privacy safeguards go
Blogger Michael Zimmerman
reports that while Facebook may have done a better job of addressing
privacy issues than before, there are still shortcomings. If members
check friends into a location, their name will appear in the members
news feed, even if they didn’t give explicit permission to be included.
Facebook spokesperson points out that this is no different from the
situation now, where you don’t need permission from friends to post, for
example, that you saw them at the mall. However, a post generated using
Places presumably has a little more weight to it than just a regular
Meanwhile, Facebook has posted an instructional video
showing how Places works and how you can adjust your privacy settings
to either completely remove yourself from the application or adjust it
so only certain friends can see you. But be warned, it’s not that easy
And that’s the real problem. The bigger Facebook gets
and the more services it rolls out, the more complicated it becomes.
Surveys suggest that most Facebook users either don’t have time or the
expertise to constantly adjust their settings to keep up with the latest
changes. All this leads to a loss of control and a feeling that every
time you add a friend you are increasingly exposed. That’s not what
social networking was supposed to be about.
Are you concerned
about a loss of privacy in Facebook? Have you adjusted your settings for
the Places application? Share your thoughts with The Online Mom!