Facebook & Privacy

A friend of mine posted the note below on her Facebook account. Now since I am/was the “data download” coordinator for public data at Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment (and will continue to some degree in that role at the Ministry of Labour), I’m fascinated by the perception of privacy: particularly because it’s so different between Canada and the States. What some people are concerned about, others don’t care. Are some people over-concerned, while other reckless? I think it’s a combination, but it’s alwas important to determine the truth.

The image at right illustrates the changing security settings on Facebook during its first five years of operation. Rather scary, actually. Click to see a larger image; more information is at: Yale Law

Now I’m the first to admit, I don’t really trust Facebook; but then I don’t really trust any large scale corporate entity that is out to profit by redistributing or reprocessing my “content” (whatever that may be). But I will also admit that that concern is relatively low. It is not low overall: if I am asked, I will respond that I am “highly concerned” about Facebook’s security and privacy. However, I am less concerned than is my desire to use Facebook to connect with friends by that media. I would simply rather use the software (carefully) to keep my friends up-to-date. It is a matter of priority: I respect people who do not use Facebook because of their privacy concerns, but our priorities (or the reasons for our concern, such as our jobs) are different.

I assume, for instance, that none of what is on Facebook is private. If I don’t want it released to the world, I don’t release it on Facebook.

That being said, I looked up some information on the following post. I wanted to determine the degree to which it was true (and the degree to which it was important). Turns out that there is no validity to it. I found this information on Snopes.com (a website that I do trust more than Facebook). Of course putting up this kind of message won’t hurt. But it won’t do any good, either.

As of <date; today?> I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308 – 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).

Note: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. It must be a post from you.

This entry was posted in Communication, geography, Living in Canada, Popular Culture, Values and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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