The world is too much with us.
With news that Facebook is introducing “frictionless sharing” it begs the question of if and how you can protect your identity online, or if you lose the right to privacy as soon as you step foot in the rabbit hole.
Facebook, known previously among users as having somewhat questionable privacy policies, the launch of “Frictionless sharing” has for some pushed the friendship too far. Basically this new ‘feature’ allows apps from services and publishers to post a users activity without asking their permission for each item that it posts. A once off, and possibly unread opt in allows third parties the right to access and republish your posts at any time.
But is this all too different from the once reproachable ‘News Feed’ that gives each user a stream of the most recent posts and activity of those that they ‘Like’ and are friends with? When it launched in 2006, the news feed feature caused outcry and mass account deletion in protest of the invasion of privacy it posed. But one wonders if Facebook would have reached the infinite proportions it currently has, if this feature had not been available. Where would the draw card be for users to come back to the site? Although initially it seemed as though our lives were being put on display against our will, now many users log in with the sole purpose of checking the news feed as an easy way of finding out what their nearest and (questionably) dearest have been up to.
Although Facebook acts as a “free” service, is it any real surprise to users that there’s a catch? The reason it is free, the reason they have the money to run a multimillion user service with minimal downtime is that advertisers and marketing companies pay Facebook for something else, for us. That means that the real ‘product’ that Facebook sells, is us, it’s users and our information. Is it any wonder that a marketer or company wants to know the intricate details of their target audience, what we like, what we don’t like, how we react. This is marketing 101, but in this case we’re creating our own buyer persona, can we really be surprised that companies are trying to get it?
To me it seems clear, whatever you put online, wherever it is posted be prepared for that information/image/text/video to be seen by the entire world. That is the beauty and curse of the internet and especially social media.