May 28, 2010

Privacy is in fashion

Internet users' privacy has always been a concern. That is obvious and reasonable. It must not be allowed that companies do whatever they want with the data they might gather. Over the past couple of weeks, significant outcry has raised against two giants such as Google and Facebook.

Google has faced trouble in countries such as Ireland and Germany. Apparently, Google gathered data from unencrypted wifi  networks while getting info for location-based products from its Street View cars. The Irish authorities have forced Google to delete all the collected data and Google has met that demands quickly and has confirmed through a public statement .

On the other hand, Facebook has experienced the last of its many incidents concerning the use of its users' private information. I am quite an avid Facebook user and I must admit that I have never paid super detailed attention to my Facebook privacy controls beyond the people I share pics and information with. The other day, after reading about Mark Zuckerberg explanations (how many so far!!) on the Washington Post I went to my Facebook's settings and they are a mess and hard to understand. Zuckerberg acknowledges that, though people are willing to share information (but with the people they want to, not necessarily with third parties, I'd say!!!!!), they want simpler privacy controls and claims that Facebook has heard such feedback from users and that some changes will be introduced shortly. Well, this sounds to me like the same old story. It is the "n-time" that Zuckerberg goes out there to apologize/explain their treatment of users' data. C'mon guys, enough, just do what you have to do (i.e. all settings should be "private" and "opt-in" by default) at once. I understand that Facebook might need such information to monetize its audience through third parties but this is not the right way to do it.

These have been to of latest stories about privacy. Rest assured it they won't be the last.

No comments:

Post a Comment