The news I am reading about Facebook's increasing erosion of privacy has me worried, and if it wasn't the sole means for me to keep in contact with certain friends and family members, I'd be dropping it faster than a quick-burning match. Of course, the difference is I plan to delete and then pray my data isn't mined for malicious purposes.
Leo Laporte deleted his account. I have relied on him as a news source for technology, so that caught my attention immediately.
I could post a slew of articles if others are interested, but I'll just try to sum up instead. Facebook's Instant Personalization isn't the latest erosion, but it allows by default for outsiders to plunder your information with impunity. And the more I hear about Mark Zuckerberg, the more I think he's just another example of white-collar sociopathy. Yeah, that's incredibly cruel, but that's really how I see some hackers– they don't give a shit about other people, but are simply interested in what they can get away with as they tinker.
Now some of that may simply be youthful impetuousness. All the more reason. The guy's only in his early twenties. Sure I have met twentysomethings that were thoughtful and mature. I don't think he's one of them. And I tend to agree that the "white hat" and "black hat" terminology of recent decades is pretty arbitrary– it's just too easy for a hacker to play both sides.
He's called trusting users "dumb fucks". A Facebook employee (supposedly off-record) said Zuckerberg doesn't believe in privacy. A few months ago, e-mail addresses that were supposedly held private were suddenly public. Even a well-known egoblogger, Robert Scoble, has addressed his concerns, and specifically to Zuckerberg, too.
I tend to agree with what Fred Wilson has said: Currently, Facebook is in a dangerous middle ground between privacy and transparency– a nebulous sort of semi-privacy. You can't have it both ways. If it's totally public, then the burden falls on the user to mind what they say, and can reasonably expect to have it appear anywhere. The argument could be made that nothing on the Internet is private, but I don't think such absolutes apply everywhere. I think gated communities such as VOX offer some degree of privacy, although it shouldn't be overestimated. And I must insist that it's not as vaguely defined as it's being defined at Facebook.
I did voice my concerns in my News Feed, but not a single person responded. That's really too bad. I think I'm just going to have to proceed and then send out some e-mails, and see who cares then.