.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

filling the void

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


So, I guess I'm on Facebook now. I figured, since I had already gotten 3 invitations, they had my email address already. I hear Facebook is all the rage, so I might as well check it out for myself.
They do request a lot of information about you when you set up your profile. Thus far I've only entered my blog address. They ask me about my sexual orientation, my political views, my religious views, who I'm dating and a sea of other very private stuff.
Now, I don't mind sharing these things with anybody, but I do know that in the hands of the wrong people, a database like Facebook is a marketing (and pseudo-anti-terrorism) gold mine.
I mean, anybody could perfectly tailor their message based on this information, and creating a no-fly list is a snap, just sort people based on religion (I wish I was kidding about this, but I fear that I'm not).
At least this information isn't required. The thing with privacy isn't so much what your beliefs and values are, but that you choose who to display them to, and under what circumstances. Bruce Schneier wrote a piece not long ago about data re-use, and it highlights some of my fears with systems like this. Sure, most people "promise" to not use the data for anything like that, but it does end up being used for other things every now and then. Hopefully not as often as my paranoid mind fears though.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home