Selling You on Facebook

One article that struck me looking through today’s news, is entitled “Selling you on Facebook” and was written by Julia Angwin and Jeremy Singer Vine. It was published in the Wall Street Journal and can be found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303302504577327744009046230.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read.

This article raises concerns about the privacy settings, or lack thereof, for the new technologies that many of us use every day. It talks about a concept called “habituation,” through which ” people who see frequent warnings come to disregard them…people become accustomed to simply pressing the “yes” button when faced with an alert or warning.”

It seems to me that this could turn out to be the next huge corporate scandal in the United States. Technology has been advancing so rapidly, and regulations to protect consumers simply have not kept pace. Many of us, myself included, have become accustomed to agreeing to privacy policies rather than taking the time to read the fine print. Companies have made much of this information indecipherable for the average person, yet can hide behind the cover of a legal disclaimer if they are ever challenged.

This article raises some interesting questions: How diligent are you with reading the privacy policies of applications on your Ipads or smartphones? Does this trend alarm you? Have you experienced negative consequences from ignoring a privacy warning that you later regretted? Do you have any advice for other readers about how to protect themselves? And for the lawyers among us, does clicking “accept” really absolve corporations of any responsibility for how they use and share that information?

And from a corporate perspective, do you think that corporations will eventually pay a price for misusing consumer information or for asking for more information than is needed to run an app? Do you know of trusted organizations that help provide practical guidance on how to protect yourself from privacy violations?

The Wall Street Journal did add some practical guidance on how to protect your privacy on Facebook, which can be found here: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/04/06/how-to-control-what-facebook-apps-see/

Please share your thoughts on this issue when you have a moment. And thank you for reading!

5 Comments

Filed under Privacy, Social Media

5 responses to “Selling You on Facebook

  1. you know me….a gambler at heart…i shall roll the dice and see what happens…and as for Facebook…it’s free. i hate the entitlement that many people feel about it. i would almost tell Facebook to issue a policy that says there is no privacy on our site…we will use, sell, etc. all of your personal information if we are so inclined. You are free not to use our site….

  2. Anonymous

    That’s another good perspective. But it was interesting to read about the women who were targeted because they used the location app. That made me think about how some of these things could cause real safety issues for domestic violence survivors and that there are probbably other implications I haven’t considered. But I guess at some point, you have to assume that people should be able to manage their own risks, huh? I know that I have no idea what I am agreeing to more than half the time when I agree to terms and conditions when I sign up for something. And I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite me in the end. I am not sure anyone can keep up with it all. I think Congress should pass some stronger laws restricting how personal information can be used. Or will the free market fix this problem…?

    Thanks for reading and commenting!!!!!!

  3. By the way, I left that last comment Carey. I am just figuring out how all of this works. So fun! Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  4. Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog
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  5. Fantastic post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this
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    Kudos!

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