When everyone’s a friend, is anything private?
Randall Stross is a New York Times staff writer, who expands on the issue of privacy in an era of social networking — a topic which has also been addressed pointedly and extremely eloquently by Bill Thompson last week at the LIFT conference.
“The popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites has promoted the sharing of all things personal, dissolving the line that separates the private from the public.
As the scope of sharing personal information expands from a few friends to many sundry individuals grouped together under the Facebook label of â€œfriends,â€ disclosure becomes the norm and privacy becomes a quaint anachronism.”
Bill Thompson’s reflections are much more to the point.
I personally think it’s frightening to think about how available users personal information can be on Facebook. The article states that Facebook has a default setting so that information such as peoples’ activities, interests, photos and status can be pulled and storied on outside servers.
Facebook respects users’ privacy and provides them with a large amount of different security settings, but the point to make is that they want users to CONTROL how they interact with the site and how they present their information. Facebook wants to give users options to choose for themselves concerning their security settings – they are allowing people to determine there own privacy thresholds. Users can decide for themselves how much they will blur the lines between private and public.