Monday, June 02, 2008

Facebook You As a Commodity

Smile! If you have a Facebook account, who's mining your data now? You are a star commodity. And that should give some pause to those professors and students (and Blackboard LMS folk) who tout Facebook as an educational delivery system, or even as a respository of student /faculty created resources. They should really give their head a shake. Third party commercial products are not where formal education should be. Wonder why? Check out the latests charges against Facebook from Canada's Privacy Commissioner:

"Facebook may say it's purely a social networking site, but it is in fact a commercial enterprise that's about sharing and using members' personal information with advertisers and third-party application developers." That's the substance of a complaint against Facebook filed with Canada's Privacy Commisioner.

Another CIPPIC grievance is that user's privacy settings in Facebook are automatically set to share the most information when a new account is created. Younger Facebook users, or less Web-savvy users may never think to change these, and are unknowingly sharing their information with the world, according to Harley Finkelstein, one of the law students that worked on the document. “Facebook calls them privacy settings, but we've come to discover these are actually publicity settings,” he says. “Social networking and privacy don't necessarily go hand in hand.”

See this video (tried to insert it but Blogger isn't cooperating) -

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