In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest news on Facebook, you might want to read through this short article to acquaint yourself about the latest breach of privacy from the social networking leader. Just a few days ago the Internet was abuzz amid the revelation that Facebook was storing personal information (cookies) of users even after logging out of their website.
What this means to the casual reader is that your personal information has been surreptitiously collected by Facebook without your permission or knowledge until recently when a computer security expert and blogger and from Australia, Nik Cubrilovic exposed the coding that clearly showed that even after logging out, personal information from their members was being saved on servers governed by the leading social network company. Of particular interest to members of Facebook is when members use one of the over 900,000 “Like” buttons on the website. Facebook has since acknowledged the coding and its software engineers apparently worked quickly to resolve the problem. Yet there is enough speculation to believe that these same engineers knew exactly what they were doing when these parameters were inserted into coding. And apparently Facebook has been collecting personal data for over a year! They maintain that there was no breach of security and this practice was designed to curtail spammers, phishing, malware and telemarketers from exploiting the social networking system. Yet now there is the distinct possibility of an FTC investigation into the collection of personal data and suspicions of “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.”
This comes at a time when Facebook doesn’t need any bad publicity as Google+ finally was released to the public last Wednesday, September 20th. Recent statistics showed that usage of the main competitor to the Facebook kingdom has soared to the point where there are now approximately 50 million members and rising. Now that Google+ is released, it will be interesting to see if they can convince members of other social networking site to venture over to their platform with the added bonus of having complete control of You Tube on their websites. However Google is also criticized for their practices on collection of personal data.
For members of social networking platforms whether it be Facebook, Google +, Twitter or any of the others, it is critical to understand the proper mechanisms in controlling as much information they choose to share by looking at the privacy settings on whatever social network site you use. Whether we like it or not, if you use the Internet, your personal data is being mined for the sake of advertisers and others who insist that “privacy is dead” on the Internet.