Facebook IPO raises new and looming privacy concerns for users
I recently saw this post in my Facebook newsfeed:
“For those of you that do not understand this posting Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post on this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice to this or you may copy and paste this one.”
It caught my attention at first as spam; I was about two seconds away from clicking unsubscribe until I skimmed the post. Curious, I decided to look into this Facebook privacy issue and see if it had any clout. What I found was that polls such as one I found in the Washington Post show that there is a significant mistrust between Facebook, advertisers, and users. Consumer reports found that privacy concerns are on the rise. So, what does this mean in light of Facebook’s recent IPO?
According to Mashable, Facebook has gone public “in more ways than you think” because they are now required to report information such as Zuckerberg’s salary. This change, though, makes Facebook as a company more public not the actual information posted on the website.
According to an article on PC World, 10 Ways Facebook Will Rule Our Lives, Facebook controls our privacy. Not exactly. Facebook can only utilize the information we provide to the site. Fro example, when we like various pages, they use our preferences to tailor our advertising experience. People claim that they don’t trust Facebook, yet millions of people share their personal information, photos, and interests on their personal profiles everyday. This includes everything from religious preferences to illegal habits.
Don’t get me wrong, we have every reason to be concerned about Facebook and their sketchy privacy policies, but it is us who is posting all of this sensitive information online. The only way to truly protect all of your personal information online is to disconnect from social networks, and I don’t see that happening in the near future.
The bottom line is that Facebook is trying to transform into a website that provides various services by building partnerships with other brands and apps in order to make money. Who knows what Facebook’s lasting power will be considering consumers’ concerns about purchasing anything through social media.
Other recent privacy news, from CNN Tech, IBM worries iPhone’s Siri has loose lips. Something about “her” capability to send text messages and write emails has IBM sweating.