Tag Archives: privacy

A guide to Facebook privacy settings

Ghacks has published here a small but useful guide to basi security settings in Facebook.

Suggestions include the fact that “[…] , this menu is entirely customizable. If you do not want anyone who is not on your friends list to access any of your information then you can do this from here. If you don’t mind if friends of friends also have access to your profile then this is an option too. For example, if I wanted everyone to be able to see when my birthday is then I would first click on the ‘Customize Settings’ tab. From here, I would enable everyone to see my birthday. It is as simple as that. Let’s take a closer look at each of the different settings that you can edit when it comes to Facebook privacy. […]

First of all is the ‘Posts by me’ section. This will include any status updates that you write, any wall posts that you make, or any photos that you upload. Obviously, the most sensible thing to do here is to set this to ‘Friends only’. This is because you do not want people that you do not know getting access to things that you have said, or your personal information or images.
The ‘Bio and Favourite Quotations’ section is up to you whether or not you would like to make this section private. However, it is important to remember that you may be putting private information about yourself in the Bio section which others will be able to see if you do allow this section to be public rather than private. The ‘Family and Relationships’ section is another one that is best kept private. The reason for this is because if you allow this information to be public then everyone can see members of your family which not everyone would be comfortable with. Of course, it is up to you, but it is best to be on the safe side. The rest of the information in this section of the privacy settings would usually be better if it were set to ‘Friends Only’, because it is all personal information. […]”

I think the guide is useful despite the fact that this brain confusing level of security that is implemented by Facebook for me is still unreliable and difficult to understand by average user.

This post as a comment also here.

In defense of Steve Jobs right to be ill

I see from many source that National Enquirer that someone has conducted an analysis on Steve Jobs health using photos taken folloing him outside cancer treatment centre.

No guys! This is not freedom nor jornalism. It’s being stupid.

Steve is a public person and he’s famous. But has the same right of each one of us of having privacy in this moments.

But what is really awful is the fact that those who said that he has 6 weeks to live made this diagnosis through photos. I ask why those people (that BTW are doctors) are not removed from their associations: this is not something that has been made for saving lives or in emergency, they had the only urgency to become famous discussing with a news magazine.

Again, this is not journalism nor freedom of speech.

This is pure gratuitous stupidity, even if is the news is true.


Facebook=Problems as usual

Ed Oswald at beta news reports that “[…] In yet another black eye for social networking site Facebook, the site disclosed Friday that several developers were selling user data to a third-party. User IDs, or unique identifiers given to every registered member of the site, allow an application to look up a user’s public personal information. […]” (full article at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebook-User-IDs-were-sold-to-data-brokers-company-admits/1288637944). Same does Mike Hasley at ghaks (full article at http://www.ghacks.net/2010/11/01/facebook-app-developers-sold-user-data-shock/)

Again is not possible that everytime there’s a problem with Facebook security!

As I said many times, is a matter of everyone choosing what to post, but at same time there should be some *serious* regulation that obliges those holding datas to detain and use them fairly.

Facebook is not reliable on this.

This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebook-User-IDs-were-sold-to-data-brokers-company-admits/1288637944 and at http://www.ghacks.net/2010/11/01/facebook-app-developers-sold-user-data-shock/

Facebook finally to be sentenced for being too superficial?

Ed Oswald at BetaNews (http://www.betanews.com/author/eoswald) reports that Facebook admitted that his third-party apps developers had mishandled private datas (full article at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebook-admits-its-thirdparty-developers-have-mishandled-private-data/1287428665, Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica covering same article and the fact that the issue is going to congress at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/facebook-app-breach-gets-the-attention-of-congress.ars and Michael McWhertor at Kotaku at http://kotaku.com/5667405/report-farmville-breaks-facebook-privacy-rules-sends-personal-info-to-ad-firms).

Again with more or less a month of distance we find another problem for Facebook.

And again I say this is not a joke, because company detains personal datas for many millions of people.

Everyone is responsible for what posts and does, but also the depositors of this datas have some responsabilities (and this includes those working in partnership for them: it’s too easy to get the money and success from Farmville and then not respond for the “collaterals” of this).

This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebook-admits-its-thirdparty-developers-have-mishandled-private-data/1287428665#c2001961, at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/facebook-app-breach-gets-the-attention-of-congress.ars?comments=1&p=20920991#comment-20920991 and at http://kotaku.com/5667405/report-farmville-breaks-facebook-privacy-rules-sends-personal-info-to-ad-firms

Facebook IPO? No thanks

Brian Osborne at Geek.com (http://www.geek.com/users/Brian%20Osborne/) reports that Facebook IPO won’t happen until 2012, allowing the company to strengthen sales and customers (full article at http://www.geek.com/articles/news/facebook-ipo-may-not-happen-until-2012-20100730/).

But do the market and company itself want to go public?

IMHO the answer is positive for the market that will be able to profit from Facebook in a small time, but is deadly for the company and, at the end for the entire sector.

Facebook has grown too fast and too chaotically to be considered a company ready for going public.

How do we think market, so confused and reacting at the limits of an histeric behaviour at the moment for reasons we all know, will react in case of another data loss or privacy issue Facebook will face?

I think that first Facebook need to strengthen reputation and then go public, as a company conscious of the impact that can have on market and investors.

This post as a comment also at http://www.geek.com/articles/news/facebook-ipo-may-not-happen-until-2012-20100730/comment-page-1/#comment-3855281

Time spent on Internet goes toward social networks

Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/author/matthew-lasar/) reports that “[…] Just in case you needed further confirmation that blogs, social networks, and games are overtaking everything else on the ‘Net, Nielsen has released its latest statistics. They show that Americans now spend almost a quarter of their PC/laptop days and nights on social networking sites and blogs. That’s a 43 percent jump from a year ago. Social networking now has a 22.7 percent share of the PC pie, while online games get a 10.2 percent share (up 10 percent from last year). […]” (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/08/nielsen-social-networking-and-gaming-up-email-uncertain.ars).

This, of course, cannot be a surprise, since this desire we all have to communicate to everybody.

But is very important for actual and possible impacts this trend will have on economy and behaviour.

I think that what we will read again on this topic is the new definition of privacy (with everything and everyone going into social networks, which will be the border line for what is considered private?) and security (with more firms going to provide stronger and more flexible security solutions to allow reasonable access to data stored).

This post as a comment also at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/08/nielsen-social-networking-and-gaming-up-email-uncertain.ars?comments=1&p=20673891#comment-20673891

Facebook privacy issues in Germany and Canada

Ed Oswald at Betanews (http://www.betanews.com/author/eoswald) reports that “[…] Facebook’s privacy issues have come to a head as it has been sued over its handling of users’ private information. The class action suit was filed on July 2 in the Queen’s Bench Court in Winnepeg, Manitoba. Merchant Law Group LLP filed the action on behalf of Donald Woligroski, a Winnepeg Facebook user. The suit accuses the social networking site of misappropriating Woligroski and others’ personal information and intentionally using it for commercial purposes. It also says Facebook was careless and dishonest in alerting users to how the information would be used. […]” (full article at http://www.betanews.com/article/Class-action-suit-in-Canada-only-the-latest-of-Facebooks-woes/1278621631).

This goes on top of another statement from German authorities that there’s an ongoing investiogation for Facebook data activities.

I think, again, is a problem of a single company storing personal datas of about 1/12 of world population with a completely immature and money driven management.

On the other side is, more in general, also a matter of education of users, because if you put very personal informations or media on a site, you should evaluate the risk of having them go public.

This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/article/Class-action-suit-in-Canada-only-the-latest-of-Facebooks-woes/1278621631

Privacy and actions

The probability of being watched is proportional to the stupidity of your actions.


Facebook (strange) views on privacy

Mathew Ingram at GigaOM (http://gigaom.com/author/mathewingram/) writes an article asking some questions on Facebook privacy, telling that “[…] Communications studies professor Nancy Baym said in an interview that she thinks one of the biggest problems for Facebook is that it has a “fundamentally naive and Utopian” view of what privacy means online, which stems from the fact that the company is run by “a bunch of computer science and engineering undergrads who don’t know anything about human relationships.” […]” (full article at http://gigaom.com/2010/06/01/facebooks-views-on-privacy-are-naive-and-utopian-prof-says).

Facebook views on privacy are “utopian” and are mainly the result of two concurring factors:

  • on one side the utopian concept of anything available to everyone, that underlies the concepts of responsability in charging datas and using them. If this assumption was true, we won’t have no spam, frauds,…
  • on the other side Facebook management being non capable of managing what is a real complex architecture on IT POV. As I said other times, if you consider for a moment the risk that “maliciuos” people are around us trying to do something strange with our datas, as the owner/manager of Facebook you have the due to leave apart thoughts of freedom and equality and make barriers to defend datas given to you.

This post as a comment also at http://gigaom.com/2010/06/01/facebooks-views-on-privacy-are-naive-and-utopian-prof-says/?go_commented=1

Facebook simplified privacy settings rolled

Ryan Singel and Fred Vogelstein (http://www.wired.com/epicenter/author/fvogelstein/)  at  Wired report and discuss of new Facebook settings going live (full story at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-debuts-simplified-privacy-settings/ and at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-firestorm-good-thin).

Again: is closing the gates after cows escaped, but could have been a good thing.

What continues to be surprising is Mr Zuckerberg (or his managers) being so superficial: by defending the setting of “available to everybody” as default, Facebook management demonstrates their inability to understand implications of their actions.

This post as a comment also at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-firestorm-good-thing/comment-page-2/#comment-48240 and at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-debuts-simplified-privacy-settings/comment-page-1/#comment-48241

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