Friday, December 02, 2011

Facebook privacy: You're as much to blame for the site's privacy woes as Mark Zuckerberg. - Slate Magazine

Excerpt from a timely Internet privacy (not just Facebook privacy) reality check

I don’t think most Facebook users have internalized how leaky the site can be. At “Manners for the Digital Age,” the podcast that I co-host with my Slate colleague Emily Yoffe, we get Facebook privacy questions every day. A lot of listeners seem to be looking for a kind of privacy silver bullet—a foolproof way to keep their co-workers out of their Facebook profile, say. These people fundamentally misunderstand Facebook. The only sure way to keep something private on Facebook is not to post it to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg would never acknowledge this, but I think it will ultimately benefit both his site and its users if we adjusted our expectations about “privacy” there. You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window. However restrictive your privacy controls, you should imagine that everything that you post on Facebook will be available for public consumption forever. If you follow this simple rule, you’ll never be blindsided.

Facebook privacy: You're as much to blame for the site's privacy woes as Mark Zuckerberg. - Slate Magazine

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