Facebook privacy concerns? Well, it could be worse ...

Posted on June 1, 2010

By now, I'm sure that everyone and his or her dog (assuming said dog is on DogBook) has heard the hubbub relating to new Facebook privacy policies. I have to be honest: I haven't read every single story about it, primarily because I don't intentionally publish stuff online that should be private. In general, people rarely read terms and conditions before signing up for something online, but hopefully now, people will check out Facebook's privacy terms and decide whether or not they want to keep their account.

  But what if Facebook, or another entity that allowed you to share info with friends, family and strangers, wasn't so helpful and didn't allow you to opt-out of things you don't want?

  It's really not that hard for me to imagine because I wrote a book about it. "The Developers" touches on the exact same privacy issues that are haunting Facebook, only this time, it's the United States government trying to rule the world (OK, true Tears for Fears, everyone wants to rule the world, but let's stick to the point here.). The method the government uses in the book is an extra set of questions on the census form. Simple enough, right? The government knows not only how many people are living where, but they know personal info, how people are connected, etc.

  Whether it's a large company or a government entity, the risk remains of the wrong people and/or groups ending up with a bunch of personal data that they shouldn't have. And the easiest solution to thwart those types of people is to just be careful about what you post. If you have to tell somebody something, don't do it on Facebook; do it in person and shout … shout … let it all out.