How Have You Responded To Facebook's Recent Privacy Changes And Breaches? [POLL]

Facebook announced new Open Graph and Instant Personalization features at the F8 conference on April 21, 2010.  Since that time, several privacy bugs have been found and patched. 

All of this has resulted in greater awareness about privacy issues on Facebook.  Some have predicted that Facebook might lose users as people delete their accounts out of fear or frustration about their data being shared or exposed. 

So, how have Facebook's changes and news affected you personally on Facebook?  Have you made any changes or altered your behavior on Facebook as a result?  Please participate in the poll below.  (Your data will, of course, be kept confidential.)  Thanks. 

You will find the poll in the right column of this page, below the "About the Analyst" or "About this Blog" section.



Facebook is opening a door...

Years ago, nobody would have dreamed that any site would garner more hits than Google. Google was the juggernaut of the internet. Now, Facebook is surpassing Google as the most visited site on the internet in the U.S.

A new generation has begun, and Facebook is the new juggernaut that people assume cannot be reckoned with. I am a firm believer, however, that Facebook is leaving a door open with this ongoing privacy debacle. If Facebook doesn't listen to their users, other networks will enter the social arena and give Facebook a run for their money.

Yes, it will take a while, but no business or website for that matter is immortal. If Facebook isn't careful, their greed will be their downfall like every corporate giant of the past.

I agree Facebook is not bulletproof

I concur Facebook has some risks. I don't think they are anywhere near a moment where a landslide of departures and bad sentiment derails their plans, but of course, each privacy incident can begin to add up. It's hard to imagine (but not impossible) that a competitor could do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace. But, as this small poll demonstrates, we're really not seeing a great deal of action on the part of Facebook users that would force Facebook to seriously consider any countermeasures.

Facebook privacy setting's don't really matter

Isn't the problem with Facebook that regardless of what they do to their privacy settings, they are on the internet. And once information is on the internet, even if you delete your profile, it can never really be errased. It's a fundamental flaw in the system and one that people need to understand as they constantly post more information about themselves. For instance - what are the first pieces of information your bank asks you for to verify your identity? Birth date and place of birth right? And what is some of the first information people post about themselves? It's the very same thing. We now have millions of people posting this information for the world to see, and the possibility of the next generation leaving themselves even more open. It's an identity theft nightmare!


Thanks for the input, Clare.

Everyone needs to define their own relationship to sharing and risk. I agree with you that putting anything into a public space online basically makes it available and searchable forever (via search engines), even if one does eventually delete their social media profile. That said, I don't see terrific threats between what one posts on Facebook and banking--banks may ask for your place of birth and birthdate, but they also ask for a great deal more (passwords, PINs, account numbers, social security numbers, etc.) But while I don't see a threatening connection between Facebook and banking, your overall point is a great one: We need to be actively aware about what we're sharing the ramifications that can have.

cup half full

it seems like facebook is paying attention, if the word of a company-wide meeting today to discuss "privacy strategy" is any indication. speculation is that instant personalization (or, as some might put it, "the rampant sharing of personal data with third parties") will get pulled.

I think facebook goes too far in assuming its core younger users are capable of making judgments about what is ok to share and are any not more susceptible to subtly tailored marketing pitches than geezers like me. however, I absolutely love the idea that pandora or yelp or even retail sites will be able to use my expressed preferences to create a personalized experience for me. I don't mind at all that they will waste less of my time trying to sell me stuff I don't want.

"So make it opt in," I hear. the problem is twofold. first, I believe that a lot of people who would probably enjoy instant personalization will get all freaked out by the hooplah and not opt in. the second is getting to scale - any system based around collaborative filtering improves with the number of users.

I've got more on the subject and some examples of why I think it's a beautiful thing on my blog