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They Continue to Stomp on Privacy – The Social Experiment

Posted by J Powers at 1:35 PM on March 14, 2010

**Update: The “Who’s been watching my Profile” application (and 25 variants) are a Hoax and a phishing scheme, according to Trend Micro – If you see it, you should not select or accept any offer to see who’s been looking at your profile.

I got another “Who’s checking your profile on Facebook” application. It seems to be the newest annoyance on the Social Network site. We seem to run into new avenues where privacy just seems to continue to be trampled over. You can complain, but the damage has already been done. So why have privacy anyway?

First of all, we have to ask if this Facebook application is stomping on my privacy and how it’s doing so. Well, I have already been in a couple pictures stating I have recently read their profile page. I don’t remember giving the application permission to do so. A friend of mine just mentioned that he felt the app was only pulling random pictures from your friends list, so in that case, it can be a misleading picture altogether.

Nonetheless, it’s a picture. It circumvents other privacy initiatives. Such as “Certain friend see my wall posts”. If you leave your photos open, hey! I can see the picture. I know who you’ve been talking to… well… sort of.

Think about it: You get an email from a “Former friend” saying “Dude. Stop going to my profile”. Worse yet,¬†paranoia¬†might set in and they delete their Facebook profile altogether.

Not to get on a tangent on this one Application. The reality is we seem to continually get bombarded with privacy issues – Some of them are common sense issues – by bigger corporations. It could be Facebook, MySpace, Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Intel or a number of other companies. Most of the time, it’s the 3rd party applications that cause the issue; in which these companies state that: “We are not held responsible for what these apps do”. Yet they approve them.

Some people have said that privacy is only a figment of your imagination. That may be true, but I like to feel a little safe as to who I share my info with. Kinda like the home with the door that is falling apart and that could be kicked in at any moment: At least I have the one lock, so I feel safer. Nevermind the window I leave unlatched in the living room…

Privacy online is a different story – Of course. We have to continually monitor who has what information. It only takes one company with an idea, and another company employee to blindly approve said idea.

The “Who’s been Watching” application is a small infarction to a much bigger issue. However, we cannot overlook the smaller issues, because they can snowball. With Facebook being under the microscope as of late changing around their privacy issues, any new problem is definitely going to be scrutinized. But sometimes, you just cannot hide behind the 3rd party disclaimer. Yeah, it’s not your program, but it is my data. I can take that ball and go to another place with a beat up door and flimsy lock…

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