March 28, 2012
Several folks have recently seen that I’ve disconnected from Facebook. Since I deleted my account there, I figured I should let folks know why it’s gone…
Facebook has never been good about privacy, I’m well aware of that, and had been willing to put up with the stupidity of their constant screw-ups until now. But this time was the last straw, and I’m not putting up with it any more.
Recently, Facebook updated their Data Use policies in a way that I do not agree with, and will not stand for. In short, they are allowing friends’ application to share your data with other people – who many not be on your friends list.
I have – or rather had – a lot of info in my Facebook profile that was public. I had no problems with applications sharing that data, but data that was marked as “friends only” or “private” should stay that way until I choose to share it with someone. And if I do choose to share it with someone, it should be limited to that person, not to anyone using the same apps as they are.
The Washington Post has an article that explains the new changes to the Data USe Policy, but the one point I have a major objection to is this:
Data use is further defined under the “Sharing Your Content and Information” section, which explains that applications you have downloaded have the right to see your content, given that you downloaded the app and gave it that permission. Now, it clarifies that an application your friend has downloaded also has the right to your information because you’ve allowed that friend to see your content.
I specifically have a problem with the second part of that statement, where friends’ apps can get access to non-public data on *my* profile. You want to give your information to Zynga, go for it. But you do not have the right to share my data with them unless I say I want to share it with them.
I’m sorry, Facebook, but because I chose for a friend to see some data does not mean that I want any application they use to see it – and harvest it – as well. I don’t want Farmville and dozens of other spam-friendly games to have access to information and be stuck in a situation where I cannot explicitly block them from having it.
And anyone who thinks that games and apps won’t take advantage of this to harvest info is just being naive.
The additional decision of the big F to think they can trademark the words “book,” “poke,” and several others is just insult to injury at this point. Yes, I’m aware they did it because some unsavory sites were using those words to create an implied link to FB, but let’s not incinerate the bath to get rid of both the bathwater and the baby – and the house too.
Nope, I can’t abide Facebook making private information public through applications that friends have installed. So I’ve done what anyone can do – stopped using Facebook. I’ve instructed them to delete my account, and in about another 8 days it will be gone. I’m also not alone, apparently international users are up in arms over this one, and governments may get involved. Personally I think government interference isn’t the answer, just stop using the service and Facebook will figure out that they’re loosing too much revenue to not change the policies back to a reasonable, sane setting.
Remember, our data is their product. Remove the data and you hurt their revenue. Hit them square in the pocket-book and they’ll either change or die out. There’s plenty of competition out there to take over if they cannot adapt to their users requirements.
Speaking of which, join me over on Google+ – at least they’re open about the fact that they’re evil, and they rarely ever allow apps.