If there are any people left who think social networking is a safe place to enter your information I think this is a pretty telling story. Times Online has an interesting article on the latest move by Facebook regarding information that previously was inaccessible to search engines. Guess what? They’re going to make it publically accessible. It’s like people never learn (remind anyone of the AOL search query fun?). Okay - to be fair they said it’s only going to include, “basic details, including names and photographs” available.
I’m not sure I agree that it makes ID theft easier as Keith Reed, of Trend Micro said in the article, but it may make recon easier. I’m not saying that that’s not bad - because it very well may be bad, but it’s not as bad as it definitely could have been. But it’s a slippery slope. This quote caught my eye regarding Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer:
He suggested that internet-users could no longer expect to remain anonymous online, but could control only the amount of information about them that is available on the web.
I’m not going to disagree with the reality of the situation, but is it really okay that a social network takes this stance? Shouldn’t they instead be saying something like, “While we cannot guarantee your privacy, we will do everything in our power to insure our consumers have the highest level of privacy we can provide”? Granted, in the end it’s all about the dollar signs. They need to find a better way to monetize their traffic, and a lot of that means they need more users, they need to use the data they have better, and they need the search engines to start sending them more search engine traffic.