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Lu Galasso and Facebook

Facebook, something we all know and likely have a love/hate relationship with. It’s a place where you can add friends, acquaintances and try and “creep” information on people you may not even know. It’s a phenomenon that people all over the world are indulging in. Facebook was created and founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates at Harvard in order to connect its students. It was then expanded to include colleges and universities in the Boston area, and today as long as you’re over the age of 13 you can become a “member”.

Recently, Facebook has been receiving a lot of media attention, and it’s not positive press. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has recently been investigating Facebook’s privacy laws in terms of its relationship with third parties like their advertisers and the individuals who create “Facebook Apps”. They are concerned that there is no “opt out” of sharing personal information with these individuals and they are concerned with what this information is being used for it and how long it is being kept on file.

As anyone could tell you Facebook is just a wealth of data. It has millions of users from all over the world and not only does Facebook collect your name and your email address but on top of that, people enter everything from their age, their relationship status, their sex, their siblings, where they live, what school they go to, what their interests are, etc. It should be no surprise that in the world we live in, people will do anything for a buck and so Facebook is able to sell their site to advertisers on the guarantee that they can directly pinpoint their target market. Have you ever noticed (if you’re female) you constantly have ads for wedding rings and weight loss? Now change your “sex” to male and instead you are going to receive ads promoting ways to improve your muscles etc.Lu Galasso - Facebook

Facebook has been called out in the past for their privacy policy and so they are constantly updating it. What Facebook doesn’t tell you when you sign up is how to change your privacy settings and how to say no to the sharing of your information. They make it so difficult for you to find and figure out that most people just forget about it and don’t bother. Although the thought of my information being shared is a scary thought, I’ve just edited my profile to the things I don’t mind being shared. I mean the thought that even if I delete a picture off of facebook that the link still exists and that facebook still has it on file (everything you put on facebook becomes facebooks property), even if i can’t see it, scares the crap out of me, it comforts me to know that at least i’m aware of that when i upload the pictures.

My advice then, instead of just clicking that you agree with the terms and conditions on any social networking website, or just any website for that matter, make sure you READ what it is you are agreeing too. Be careful what you do and say on the internet and stay informed. The internet can be a scary place, and I don’t just mean old men acting like young girls or pedophiles lurking, I mean the web bugs that can be placed into emails so when  you open it someone can know the time and place you opened it, how many people you sent it too, etc. I don’t by any means say stop using Facebook, I know I’m not going too, but stay on top of the news, read their privacy policy, do whatever you can to ensure your own privacy and safety.

To opt out of sharing your information follow these simple steps (keep in mind it may not block all of your info) scroll to the bottom of facebook on any page > click on privacy > READ what it says > select the button that says “Click here to go to your privacy settings” > click on applications > READ what is it that facebook is sharing and what the applications are doing > click on settings (beside where it says overview) > edit away. > hit save changes and you are done.

Here is an article I found on on the subject. If you use Facebook it affects YOU. So read up on it.

— Lu Galasso


July 17, 2009 Posted by | social networking | , , , , , , | Leave a comment