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Facebook Promises Better Privacy Controls – Again

This week, Mark Zuckerberg wrote an article in the Washington Post addressing recent privacy concerns and promising better control over your privacy settings. I don’t buy it.

We’ve heard the same thing before. In 2007, when Facebook introduced Beacon, there was a an outcry from the Facebook community. Facebook responded with the governance council, then, a couple of years later, introduced new and better privacy controls. The default setting for these? Everything was open to everyone. Who do they think they are fooling? Apparently about 400,000,000 of us Facebook users, that’s who.

Once again, due to a large public outcry, this time by a number of web-celebs who threatened to, or actually did, deactivate their Facebook accounts, Zuckerberg and company again responded, and promised to fix the issue. I can’t help but think this is like a bad relationship with a partner (Facebook) who, despite repeated promises, just can’t seem to keep promises or stop taking advantage of the other (you).

As always, assume that anything and everything you post to Facebook is public. Period. Forget “privacy settings” which give you a false sense of security. They can be changed at any time. Your personal information can be shared by Facebook (and other online services) any time they feel like it. They’ve done it before, and I’m convinced they’ll do it again.

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