Monday, May 24, 2010

Facebook: I'm Sorry...That We Got Caught

It's happened time and time again. When are we going to say enough? With Facebook continuing to push the limits, not in good ways, in the specific topic of personal privacy, we are being forced to partake in social media or nothing at all.

Let's be clear. Any company that's trade is information would like nothing better than to do away with privacy barriers. Facebook has been the most successful at convincing (though "conning" would be the more appropriate term) users to give up personal information. But the opt-out policy that many including FB and Google instituted is just plain wrong.

There are many sides to this argument but why do I think I am in the right? Because Facebook attempted to address the issue without apologizing. That's what corporations do these days. That is right. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did address the issue and that's enough for me.

No matter what happens, These are the facts. First, Zuckerberg will never apologize.

Second, FB has lost the trust of many users. Many high-profile users have stopped using Facebook.

Third, if FB is actually sorry about anything, it's that the public isn't ready for their brand of privacy and that they got caught trying to sneak one by us.

Lastly, Facebook, and probably others like Google, will try again later. There just simply is too much money in trading away our personalized information.

I think FB does offer value. Well, I have yet to be the beneficiary of such value but my talk with Dave the Mobile Warrior has made me think that some folks will find value in all this. And perhaps over time, I will embrace the idea more.

However, it can be done without users having to give up their notions of what privacy is.

To answer my question at the top, "when are we going to say enough?", the answer is very complex. Personally, I think FB and other social media is just waiting for naysayers to go away along with the old ideas of privacy.

Whether it's Zuckerberg or a successor, Facebook as an entity will remain, perhaps, lying in waiting. I am not saying that the battle for privacy is lost. But I am saying vigilance in the matter will also need to be eternal.

So as that title of this post says, Facebook, if it is sorry about anything, is that it got caught trying to violate our privacy.

-- Post From My iPad

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