Facebook Privacy - New Report
Most of us know that anything we share “privately” via social networking sites like Facebook could potentially be exposed, but are you fully aware of how much data is collected about you and when? Are you aware of how deeply apps you give access to can peer into your data? Are you aware that your friends’ privacy settings can affect your privacy? Are any of your friends or family members one of the almost 13 million users who have never set, or aren’t even aware of, Facebook’s privacy tools?
Below is a short list of some of issues Consumer Reports found to be cause for concern. You’ll see many others if you read the whole article, which is pretty long.
If you haven’t already, you might also want to read RWC’s recent page on the FBI’s new lobbying efforts to have backdoors built into social-networking sites, VoIP, instant messaging, e-mail, Yahoo, Google, etc. If they’re successful, disaster is almost guaranteed to follow at some point because if the FBI can use the backdoors, any security expert will assure you that back-hat hackers, cyber-criminals, and foreign government agents will be able to as well.
Speaking of hacking, have you ever taken a look at
Google’s the Web Application Security Consortium’s Web Hacking Incident Database (WHID) to see how often web applications are hacked? And those are just the ones publicly known.
Here’s another one—an article about a weird incident with Twitter: The Sarah Phillips scandal exposes Twitter’s spam, scam, and identity problem
I love the instant communication and interaction that the web & internet make possible as much as anyone else, but there are a LOT of things people need to consider when out there in the wilderness. Even if you’re aware and cautious, what about your kids? What about other family members you may be connected to online? Are they being careful about giving out details regarding things like family vacations, illnesses, the new [insert expensive purchase] that uncle Joe just bought, etc.?
Anyway, on the to report:
Some people are sharing too much. Our projections suggest that 4.8 million people have used Facebook to say where they planned to go on a certain day (a potential tip-off for burglars) and that 4.7 million “liked” a Facebook page about health conditions or treatments (details an insurer might use against you).
Some don’t use privacy controls. Almost 13 million users said they had never set, or didn’t know about, Facebook’s privacy tools. And 28 percent shared all, or almost all, of their wall posts with an audience wider than just their friends.
Facebook collects more data than you may imagine. For example, did you know that Facebook gets a report every time you visit a site with a Facebook “Like” button, even if you never click the button, are not a Facebook user, or are not logged in?
Your data is shared more widely than you may wish. Even if you have restricted your information to be seen by friends only, a friend who is using a Facebook app could allow your data to be transferred to a third party without your knowledge.
Legal protections are spotty. U.S. online privacy laws are weaker than those of Europe and much of the world, so you have few federal rights to see and control most of the information that social networks collect about you.
And problems are on the rise. Eleven percent of households using Facebook said they had trouble last year, ranging from someone using their log-in without permission to being harassed or threatened. That projects to 7 million households—30 percent more than last year.