Monday, November 05, 2007

Robert X. Cringely® | InfoWorld | The great social networking swindle of 2007

Another timely reality check 

But do not be fooled by the 'open' rhetoric. Pay no attention to the nice man in the Google polo shirt. This isn't about freedom, this is about data. Social networks are really just rich deep pools of personal information, and everybody wants to cast out a hook and reel you in. Marketers are salivating at the chance to sell you something based on that silly profile you filled out in a drunken haze one night on Bebo.com. If they can get at it simply by having you complete a stupid movie quiz or play a silly game, so much the better.

The problem: If they can get at this data, what's to stop the next dumb-as-a-fence-post affiliate spammer from doing the same? Nothing more than a few bland assurances that "we take your privacy very seriously" and "the security of your personal information is our top priority." We know how well those policies work in the real world.

Robert X. Cringely® | InfoWorld | The great social networking swindle of 2007 | November 5, 2007 07:51 AM | By Robert X. Cringely

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