Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back to Facebook: Your Privacy is at Stake

Yes, I know it is has been awhile since I posted about Facebook, but this is new information just least to me anyway. It has come to my attention that Facebook has made yet another change and this one has our privacy at stake. I remember a day not too long ago when people were hesitant to purchase anything online for fear of identity theft or having their credit card stolen. Today, not many people are worried and if they are, they use a service such as PayPal to make secure payments.

We use all kinds of social media to stay in touch with friends, to make new friends and to expand the horizons of our business networks. And, expanding their horizions is what Facebook is doing with their latest "update". Facebook is allowing other sources to obtain information about each of our profiles for money. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm in business and I know how difficult it can be to make money. Yet, Facebook with their "instant personalization pilot program" has "opted" into this culling of information without my consent.

Somewhere in signing up for an account on Facebook I must have clicked the little box saying okay to the agreement that allows Facebook to have this privilege. Recently it has been one update after another. Within the last few months the changes have included:

1. Changes to the news feed. You need to click the news feed button to get the latest posts from your friends.
2. The "fan" page button has changed from "fan" to "like
3. The Instant Personalization Pilot Program allows Facebook to share your profile information with third party vendors

So, you don't want your information shared? Either do I. Here is what you do to change the settings:

One: Go to your Facebook page
Two: Click on Settings
Three: Go to Privacy Settings
Four: Go to Applications and Websites
Five: Go to Instant Personalization Pilot Program
Six: Click edit settings
Seven: Click in the little box where there is a check mark (the website will want you to confirm you want to opt out, click confirm not cancel)

You are done, for now. The news stations do not know if this one act will suffice or if we need to opt out at the websites where facebook is planning to share our information. Your information may still be shared through friends accounts unless you block that activity. And, my question is who has the time? I think that is what Facebook is banking on. All of us have enjoyed using the site and we do this for many different reasons. If I didn't find the site so useful I'd pull my account.

Even Congress has gotten into the discussion and has put pressure on Facebook to make some changes to their pilot program. Check you settings every few week, I know I will. Who knows what other program is coming down the pike! You may want to keep an eye on this discussion by following news feeds such as the one on My Fox:

For the full story read about it here.


FeliceGerwitz: Author, Speaker, Consultant said...

Here is the direct link to change your privacy settings here: