Sunday, May 22, 2011

How much can we trust Facebook?

Facebook has over 600 million active users (internal FB talks about 850 million) and might go in public 2012 . Facebook is already world biggest photo sharing site, biggest social network and has more traffic than google.

74% of American Internet users are on FB and 1 out 13 people World Wide has a Facebook account. 250 million users are using FB every day. 2.11% of all Internet searches are done in FB, which would make FB 5 biggest search engine in the US
According to one law firm, over 20 percent of new divorce petitions contain references to Facebook. Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce-Online said “The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to.” While I’m not sure how people get caught having inappropriate private chats with others, the technical details were not described by the law firm.

All these numbers are impressive, but do we really understand what consequences are behind this?

Facebook makes us to use our real name (more or less) to have an account . Facebook does know a lot of us. Do you really believe, when you set your privacy that only your friends can see your posts, that FB does not see your posts?

FB is a big portal with thousands of servers and DBs. Don't you think they can access your data? Don't you think they use your data to sell better ads? of course and this is fine, I believe in targeted advertisement. But do we know what they do otherwise with our data. Facebook has more information about us than the government.

Who is controlling FB? Should not somebody from the government control and audit FB? How do we know that the data get deleted when we hit delete. We already know that google mail does keep your deleted data at least 10 days in their database. If Google is doing it why should not FB?

I use FB, but I am trying to be very careful what I do in FB, which we all should. I don't care that certain people can see my posts and images, I know who can see my stuff, but what makes my nervous is what I don't know. I don't know what FB is doing with my data. Do they have profiler software running? Am I flagged as a certain interest group?

Facebook does know from 10% people of the world, where they live, when they are born, which school they went and where they work. If we are married or divorced, if we like drugs, what our favorite music is. The name of our beloved dog, our political opinion, our sex, etc etc. The only institution which might know the same or more is Google, but no government knows so much like them.

Facebook does not only know what you'd post or who or what you tagged in your photos, they know what you search and know your FB friends. They even know which of them are your real friends and which are just FB friends.

It scares me, not that they can know everything, but that I don't know exactly what they are doing with my data.

I think companies like Facebook and Google should be more controlled by the government. Ok, this does not sound good. Let me rephrase. Companies like google and Facebook should be required to encrypt certain data with a key only an institution of trust has access.

Or better, we the users should be in charge of the keys. Basically when creating a Facebook account we could generate our own encryption key. When people want to friend to use we send the key to them (best as analog snail mail).

I love the total connection and that my phone knows where I am and displays me coupons related to my interest and geo position. But I want as well be sure my data is not misused.

Mark Zuckerberg is under 30 and has more power than an individual government. Not sure I can trust him. But I am sure he can access all data he wants within his Facebook databases.

Sure, he is not interested in my profile, but he and his team has other power we should not ignore. Facebook can, if they want, influence the next presidential election by showing in FB search only results which could help a certain party to win the election. Facebook is now at the point to be as big and influence as Google. Granted FB has no mobile phone, but most smart phone users are using Facebook for status update. FB knows when and where we do these. FB has already more than 300 million mobile users and growing.

We all should be aware that there are right now 3 companies which do know a lot about us. Google, Facebook and Apple. Apple main business is today much different than Google and Facebook but this can change. The biggest difference is, we can just not buy an Apple device and don't use iTunes and we are fine. But Google and Facebook are services device independent. We could stop using Facebook and google services but I don't think this is the answer. Of course there are other search engines and social networks, but again none of them have such a high market share like Google and Facebook.

Am I to negative? Does it really matter that FB knows everything about us? Is it our fault that we put too much information on FB?

In the 90es schools did start to educate children on AIDS and it's risks. Commercial did run to educate us how to protect us. I think it is time to educate everybody what risks we have by exposing us in the Internet. And this should be paid by Google and Facebook.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

No comments:

Post a Comment