Do you trust Facebook?

When I logged into my Facebook last night I had a message about my privacy settings.  It confused me. My first thought was that the message was going to encourage me to strenghten my privacy settings. But in fact it was the opposite:  they wanted me to reveal more.  I felt like I was being tricked.

Seems that I am not the only one who feels like this.  Many of Facebooks 350 million users have expressed anger at the site for changing privacy settings, which they say can cause personal information to be inadvertently exposed.

Facebook says that it gives more privacy. Facebook employee Ruchi Sanghvi explained the changes in an official Facebook blog post titled “New tools to control your experience,” which received about 500 comments from users – many of them critical of privacy changes.

Many other Facebook users apparently approve of the privacy changes, since more than 2,400 clicked the “like” button on Sanghvi’s blog post.

Kevin blogs on the Electric Frontier Foundations “Our conclusion? These new ‘privacy’ changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before.”

One Facebooker, Bijan Boldajipour, comments “This update makes my profile actually more insecure than before. What facebook considers privacy is basically being an open book. The recommended settings basically would make you an open book!”

And blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick, vice president of content development at ReadWriteWeb, called the privacy settings “near Orwellian.”

Are you worried that you will be tricked into sharing too much? Do you feel like the provide you with more control over your data? Or are you happy to make your information more public?

27 Responses to “Do you trust Facebook?”

  1. 1 al crow
    December 10, 2009 at 16:37

    i tried deleting my account 3 months ago,,, i`m still showing online., it wont go away. Facebook causes so much trouble, its unbelievable. Please stay away from Facebook.

  2. 2 patti in cape coral
    December 10, 2009 at 16:42

    Not anymore. I was playing what I thought was an innocent word game on facebook. It was very addictive, just see how many words you can make out of some jumbled letters in two minutes. A couple of days later I received a letter with two fake checks, one for $3,000 and one for $19,000 from a website called IWON. They said they got my address through my IP address and I just have to call their number (in Canada) to claim my prize from the bank (in Tennesee). Very annoying, the most innocent slip up will cause a lot of harrassment from promotional agencies and scam artists.

  3. 3 Rachel in California, USA
    December 10, 2009 at 17:31

    I assume everything I post on Facebook will be visible to everyone in the world. I also expect that eventually they will try to collect money from users.

  4. 4 Peter Gizzi UK
    December 10, 2009 at 17:35

    I inadvertantly joined facebook some time ago. Didn’t find it very interesting. After a number of emails I didn’t want to answer I decided to leave. This proved very difficult indeed. Becoming extreemly rude I was eventually removed but assume they still have my details? I wouldn’t touch any of these sites with a barge pole. Having said that I am on youtube singing karaoke! Songs to make you sick? This I find less intrusive?

  5. 5 Julie P
    December 10, 2009 at 18:19

    I don’t post anything on Facebook that my family, real friends, employer, and creditors don’t already know. I post mundane things like how the weather is, what was on the menu for Thanksgiving dinner, favorite music videos, or idle chit chat. I work on the theory that anything I post online anywhere can somehow be traced back to me. I don’t fear being fired from my job because of it, or anything on there keeping me from getting a job.

  6. 6 Dennis Neal Hanes
    December 10, 2009 at 18:46

    In god I trust all others are up to something

  7. 7 Usman Amjad
    December 10, 2009 at 18:50

    Two days ago, I made a facebook account and was very happy that I would be able to share my personal information with people whom I want to but when I saw a note of changing my privacy settings, I got an idea in my mind that my whole information is scattered. I immediately deactivated my account and changed my profile name. I don’t understand why people love that site.May be people want fame. But in search of that fame, they will lose much more.

  8. December 10, 2009 at 19:12

    I joined facebook wanting to interact with many people and even to make meaningful relationship. Eventually I discovered that it was a worthless trip of mile and miles of irrelevat chatter and can be a source of harm to your privacy. We mostly join up sites with good intentions but soon discover the kind of rot this world is full of nowadays.

    There is no privacy now in the whole web and facebook is no exception. Don’t be fooled, there are many softwares everywhere that enable others to violate your privacy – so many miscreants out there up to no good; a serious indictment to education because of a declining sense of courtesy. You need luck now on the internet.

  9. 9 vijay pillai
    December 10, 2009 at 19:15

    I have given up using facebook since i lost the real purpose of it other than making a fool of yoursef exposing your inner thought and later used against you ..

  10. 10 viola
    December 10, 2009 at 19:24

    Somebody once wrote, “Never write anything that you don’t want the whole world to read.” Excellent advice. So, no, I don’t trust Facebook or any other instrument of communication to keep my communications safe.

  11. 11 Chintan in Houston
    December 10, 2009 at 19:28

    Its a commercial website which offers FREE service to anyone who signs up. If you don’t like it leave it, its really not that complicated.
    No one forces you to post information on it, you do it because you want to.
    Now, do I trust facebook? I really don’t care, i don’t post my address, bank acount information or phone number on it. Its perfectly fine with me
    Its not a publicly traded company, so in fact most people don’t have a say in what they do except its CEO and board of directors.
    I think this worries parents more than anything who fear their kids will be target of child molestation, thats a legitimate concern, but shouldn’t he/she be reading a book instead?

    • 12 Catherine Lim
      December 15, 2009 at 09:58

      I agree with Chintan In Houston. But in the interest of securing my privacy further I unclicked the “indexing” today and I can no longer find myself on a google search for me under FB.

  12. 13 Tom K in Mpls
    December 10, 2009 at 19:48

    Facebook developed more out of accident than from planning. It’s growth has been more of the same. As for security considerations, this lack of planning shows. It is a good idea, but it is in need of a lot of work before I’m comfortable with it. I get a chuckle out of people that pay for products intended to give security and then use Facebook. It pretty much undermines their spending. But then again, most pay security is not as good as the free stuff.

  13. 14 Roy, Washington DC
    December 10, 2009 at 20:15

    Like viola said — “Never write anything that you don’t want the whole world to read.” It’s a rule I have followed from the very beginning. I’m also not one of those people who has several hundred “friends” on Facebook; at last check, I was in the low 70s.

    @ patti

    You can’t get someone’s physical address from an IP address (except for businesses sometimes). You can usually narrow down where they are to a certain city or area, but that’s as close as you’re going to get without subpoenaing their ISP’s records. They must have gotten your address some other way.

    • 15 patti in cape coral
      December 11, 2009 at 13:59

      @Roy – Thanks for the info. I guess they were counting on me not knowing that. I can’t think of how they got my info, but I didn’t used to be as careful as I am now, so who knows?

  14. December 10, 2009 at 20:28

    I stopped using FaceBook since 2008, because I do not wish for everybody to have access to my information.

    In my University, APU in Beppu Japan, a good number of the students are captivated by facebook and really enjoy accessing the webpage. However some pleople actually missused it thereby increasing my fear of using Facebook. Quite recently, a colleague went ahead and posted my private photographs on facebook without my consent. It was only through others that I got to know about what was going wrong with my images on facebook eventhough I do not use it anymore. There are more to be mentioned.

    This is serious and I hope the management of facebook would take a possitive steps in giving awareness to her fans to well behave. Their freedom should not lead to the abuse of ours or our right to pravicacy as well. We are now in a shrinking world and therefore has to adobt ways of life which will enhance respect for each other as we strive to live side by side.

  15. 17 Adan Ustad
    December 10, 2009 at 20:46

    i don’t see why i have to be alrameed beacause i have not put my privacy there… I only read put common greatings, songs, etc. No cause for alarm

  16. 18 Thomas Murray
    December 10, 2009 at 22:17

    I was one of the many people solicited to join Facebook as a “friend” of my sister, and through her facebook page, so at first it looked like a personal message from her.

    It wasn’t. And she was alarmed that potentially personal information was being sent to potential strangers. So she complained. And I got another solicitaion from my “sister” to join Facebook.

    I don’t know what the technical term is, but Facebook is obviously a data mill for advertisers seeking to target potential advertisees.

    Careful what you sign up for on the Internet.

  17. 19 John in Salem
    December 11, 2009 at 00:57

    I also opened a Facebook account a few years ago at the urging of my daughter and it’s never given my any trouble – because I never use it. The search engines for advertisers that draw e-mail addresses and preferences ignore accounts that aren’t used.
    You can’t disappear but you CAN fade away.

  18. 20 claudine
    December 11, 2009 at 01:50

    Dont trust anything unless you have made it yourself.
    Who knows what others can put into their software to get more info out of you.
    Using PHP you can find out everything like e.g your browser your IP and much more.

    Anyway dont trust whats going on on Facebook or Myspace or….
    You dont know what facebook is doing and you never know who is on the other side.
    I myself have more than one account/identity there and no one really know who is on the other side.

  19. 21 geetron
    December 11, 2009 at 11:08

    Ones intention is to be known by the world and when they too mush, we complaine. We can not have it all either you are IN OR OUT.

  20. 22 Janet
    December 11, 2009 at 12:52

    Why are they asking for more information to be available to everyone???? What are they up to???? Whats wrong with the old settings???

  21. 23 Steven
    December 11, 2009 at 23:59

    In a word, NO. I have issues with the entire “social network” culture due to the persistent abuse by “bullies” and “predators” which don’t seem to be actioned by moderators on those networks. Plus there are serious security implications of sharing the level of personal information some people place on their pages that “should” only be visible to their “friends”.

    Seriously till the entire industry cleans up it’s act I want nothing to do with facebook, twitter, myspace or any other iteration.

  22. 24 T
    December 12, 2009 at 06:37

    Despite what the antivirus and spyware protection firms say, ANYTHING can be hacked. You need 3 things:

    What is your objective?
    What’s your code writing skill like?
    And the creativity in your approach

    The best tool I’ve found to protect myself? Think like a hacker to block what they do.

  23. 25 Terry McAnish
    December 13, 2009 at 10:59

    I activated a Facebook account and found much of it was juvenile rubbish but when Facebook indicated they would keep our details despite our wishes I immediately deactivated my account and woe betide Facebook if they are still keeping my details. The Information Commissioner springs to mind.

  24. 26 William Howe
    December 13, 2009 at 21:00

    Do I trust Facebook?? My short answer is: NO! Is the service free? No, not really. Users pay with their information; and with all the nonsense on some parts of it, they also pay with their time. Facebook looks to have a nice – and lucrative – business model: they are in the content provider biz where users
    generate all the content, which apparently has great market value.
    On balance, however, sites like Facebook may provide an invaluable service in times of polical-social crisis, such as recently with the unrest in Iran, where
    citizens facing censureship and media blackout, desperately need social networks like this to get the word – and phone video pictures – out to the rest of the world; the social justice benifits of which are likely only exceeded by the awesome boost this gives Facebook as a business

  25. January 2, 2010 at 14:37

    I have no reason to trust facebook,
    well people have different motives when they log in,but we need to ask ourselves what driving people to Facebook.Personally i’ve never been to facebook,maybe if i find something unique i will,however in nearby future i don’t think there i anything worth the hassle.

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