About Eiler Communications &Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Blogroll &Social Media 02 Jun 2010 09:56 am

Facebook Privacy: Do We Have the Right to Complain?

Using Facebook used to be so simple. I would log in, check my news feed, write on my friends’ walls and post photos without worrying about everyone knowing where I lived, what my interests were and how I felt at that very moment.

Facebook’s new privacy policy is unnervingly complicated. What’s different? A multitude of your interests and basic information is now public by default- including where you live and causes you support. In fact, anything that you like is linked to a public profile page. Do you like McDonald’s? The world knows you do. Do you like long walks on the beach? Hamsters? Jelly beans? Everybody knows, including your boss.

Another issue: your status updates and wall post aren’t just for your friends’ eyes. If you post something that says, “I hate the police!” your post will show up on a specific Facebook page for police. We’ve got to be more careful than ever. The problem is that we’re so used to be able to share our information; it’s hard to start putting it on lockdown.

The new Facebook privacy policy has lead to outrage. Users even created a May 31 Web event that investigated the problems with Facebook called “Quit Facebook Day.” The event only drew in only 35,000 of Facebook’s 450 million users and provides an example to how truly difficult it is to quit Facebook.

Yet, we don’t pay for Facebook (but rumor has it we may have to start paying soon). We don’t own Facebook, either- so we have the right to complain? Has Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made it too hard for us to privately create content or are we making it too easy for our content and profiles to be taken advantage of?

Rachel Krasnow

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