There’s been another round of “Facebook is bad because they use our data” postings this weekend. The general argument is that Facebook should provide users the ability to opt-out of data sharing, both at a friends level and with advertisers. MoveOn.org is even leading a campaign complete with a petition calling on Facebook to provide privacy as the default setting with users presumably being able to opt-in to data sharing.
The best commentary so far has come from Tony Hung who notes rightly that the vast majority of people do not, and will not care what Facebook does with their data.
But why single out Facebook now, and not other companies? or is it that everyone seems to have forgotten the level, scope and depth of data retention one company continues to maintain on a sizable portion of the planet? That company of course being Google. Facebook’s data retention is insignificant in size to Google’s, and although the way Facebook is using that data may be raising eyebrows now, Google remains far, far more powerful in terms of what it knows about us.
I’ve long since given up caring and have submitted myself to the Google borg as have many others. Google’s argument about competition sits just as well with data: there are always alternatives so users are not forced to use their services. The same goes for Facebook; if users don’t like Facebook’s current privacy and data practices they can always take their social networking time elsewhere.
What do you think? Should we be more vocal on privacy and data usage on Facebook, or do you just not have enough time to care? Let us know in the comments, and fill in our poll below.
Total Votes: 3541
Started: November 25, 2007