Facebook Blows It Again

An open letter.
Facebook blew it again. There is no disputing it.
Many, perhaps millions are upset, even distrustful of Facebook. The launch of Facebook Places put users privacy at risk. This again exhibits a repetitive practice of a seemingly careless company whose computer servers hold and serve out users personal information and identifying their locations to 3rd parties, advertisers and now potentially everyone.
Should Facebook users expect Facebook to change its behavior? Probably not. Should they expect another privacy policy change? *Sigh* To what end, even I would ask?
Users have received a privacy policy change in March of this year, 2010. And, oops, Facebook does it again with Places.
The time for a Federal Policy on computer privacy rights is now. Perhaps, in this particular instance for the federal government to step in and investigate the apparent lack of respect and blatant disregard for its citizen’s Constitutional rights to privacy. It is time for a national discussion that debates the online practices of Facebook and all other companies that use electronic communications and or computer servers to transmit, collect, store, access, manage, provide 3rd party access to, or resell the private citizen’s personal information and or data.
This is at least the fourth betrayal of privacy by Facebook of its users’ information in the past 4 years. What has to occur for there to be greater oversight or punitive measures put in place to deter a company from such practices?
This is not a post to berate Facebook.  The online social networking platform has provided both positive technological and social innovation and progress of historic proportion. Facebook ecosystem provides a previously unimaginable ability to reconnect, maintain, follow and grow relationships with past and current friends and consumers, with increasing business marketing and sales potentials.
However, Facebook users and even business and government, must press for greater accountability to protect citizens, netizens, the online users in the wake of Facebook’s latest privacy misstep. We must call on Facebook and other online companies to maintain users’ and businesses privacy rights as default privacy policy, and not as an elective check box that must be discovered to be unchecked.
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3 Responses to “Facebook Blows It Again”


  1. 1 am August 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    a huge opening for dataminers to profile the unwary; a higher level of anxiety for parents worried about their teenagers broadband texting culture….the last word has yet to be uttered on this subject

  2. 2 Faun deHenry August 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Amos — I don’t the Bill of Rights explicitly mentions a right to privacy. Some state constitutions, such as California, have included a privacy right. With the global nature of the Internet, I don’t see a privacy right at the state level being particularly useful.

    In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965),[1]- a landmark case- the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griswold_v._Connecticut]

    Then Privacy Act passed in 1974 (Public Law No. 93-579,Dec. 31, 1974). It was amended in 1988 to include certain kinds of digital records.

    However, all of this pertains only to the federal government and its associated agencies.

    Do we need a dialogue? Yes, I agree with you on that. Given the special interests and lobbying efforts around this issue, I wonder if Congress will develop anything that is worthwhile.

    After all, the “Do Not Call” legislation of 2003 has so many exceptions and loopholes that it is nearly useless.


  1. 1 5 Things Facebook Can Do To Improve Facebook Places for Users « Amos White Internet Marketing Training & Stuff Trackback on August 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm

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