22 April 2012

Watching every click you make

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Henry Alford, contributing editor at Vanity Fair, wonders when in the digital age, did privacy become a choice rather than a given.

“When Facebook bought Instagram, the social photo app for iPhone and Android devices, on April 9, a chorus of concern emanated from the Twittersphere: Facebook would have access to Instagram users’ uploaded photos. Would that photo of Aunt Letty in her bathing suit suddenly show up in an ad for embolism stockings?

Granted, some of these invasions of privacy are the result of our not having correctly wrangled an app’s privacy control settings. But when did privacy become a choice rather than a given? And why does slogging through a new app’s voluminous terms of service or figuring out how to activate a site’s privacy control settings sometimes feel as if it requires a graduate degree in tiny print?”

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