The last couple of days, I have seen much news about facebook and their privacy. Apparently, they allowed someone to take all the information made publically available by 171 million users (roughly 1/3 of all facebook users), and compile it into one document and allow people to download it. Lots of people are really mad about it, and frankly I don’t understand why. Here is my oppinion:
First of all, facebook has made some decent steps in the recent times to allow its users to pick which information goes public and which information only your friends see. If you don’t want your information made public, than keep your information private, it’s a pretty simple process.
Second, not only has facebook made it easy to hide your information, they also are very good about allowing you to not put the information in your profile. Lets say you are like me, and don’t care to give any more information than is absolutely necessary to anyone who does not need it (and I mean need). Take a look at my profile for example, and you will only see the bare essentials of my information: name, birthday without year, area of residence, and by my status updates, you can surmise my occupation.
Third, lets say that none of these first two conditions are not true, you had to put all of your information up, and there was no privacy. There is still a choice to be a part of the facebook community. These people made a choice to sign up, and put their information into the system.
All this leads to my point: be careful about what information you put out for the world to see. I’ve heard about and read many instances of people being scammed because of the information on their facebook. One scam I’ve heard in a couple of places involves someone calling your home pretending to be an old friend (whose name they got from facebook), in financial trouble. They put together pieces of information from your profile and the friend’s profile if you question them. Once they’ve convinced you they are the person they say they are, and their problem is real, they get your information or talk you into sending them money-never to be heard from again.
Be smart, and think about what info you have out there.