Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Apple & Facebook - Privacy Protection Or Open Floodgate?

I like that Twitter was integrated into iOS 5 and I use it quite a bit.  With iOS 6, I’m not as crazy as with Facebook integration largely because the lack of safeguards by Facebook to protect its users.  And now, they’re looking into lowering the age bracket that can join the social site, I’m afraid things could will be much worse since Facebook isn’t interested in protecting the children from predators and the bad elements of social media.

So, it falls to Apple and what it is doing to safe guard iOS and Mac users, many upon many are children.

So, Apple, I ask you this:  what is Apple doing to safeguard the privacy of its loyal users?  Is Facebook free to figuratively walk through Apple’s data centers and literally sift through the millions upon millions of bits of information about us?

I understand that if I share something via iOS 6 through Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg would have access to that information.  Well, what if I don’t want to share my location or contact list?  Right now, I am who I am with my Facebook account but I do everything I possibly can to avoid giving up any detail about me that I don’t think Facebook has the right to know.  I fear that by integrating Facebook in iOS 6, Apple will force those who wants easier Facebook access to give Facebook more information.

I suppose I always have the choice of not using Facebook via iOS 6.  But if using Facebook on my iPhone or iPad means that I have to give up contact info like I am forced to do on Android, then Apple’s Facebook integration is no better than what Google has.

I’m hoping that Apple is aware of this and will give us more options to use Facebook or  others without giving social media access to everything.  I like Twitter on iOS 6 because it don’t have access to everything.

Supposedly, iOS 6 would give the user more privacy control.  I think that’s a great thing, something I like to see Google and Microsoft provide for its users.  If implemented correctly, users would be able to dictate which apps can have access to contact lists and, hopefully, other information like locations (App on iOS now asks for permission to locate users but I like there to be a more case-by-case option).

I hope this privacy control also works against Facebook's prying eyes as well.

One more thing.  While I was completing this post, I came across this Patently Apple post.  Apparently, Apple had been working on a new way to counter websites that try to connect user data.  PA dubbed it the Anti-Brig Brother surveillance patent.  I’ve read through the long-ish and detailed post a couple of times.  I had to because it was pretty interesting and you get the sense that Apple is trying to go that extra mile to protect (maybe hoard for itself) iOS and Mac user data.

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