Is Facebook playing with your privacy?

Facebook in the recent times has been facing some legal hiccups. These are due to some privacy issues that have cropped up in the recent times. The wall street journal has reported that Facebook, MySpace, Digg and some other social networking sites have been sharing user’s personal data without their awareness or approval. This is a gross violation of the user’s personal information without their acknowledgment and right to privacy.

The data that has been infringed upon and shared consists of the user’s names, ids, and other personal information. This also includes professional information which is more than enough to help advertising agencies and marketers such as Google owned DoubleClick to know which segment of users to target. MySpace and Facebook stopped data sharing after they were questioned by the Wall street journal. This first came to light when researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and AT&T Labs were the ones to notice it in the year of August 2009. When Wall street journal contacted them immediate changes occurred.

It did not come as a shock that Facebook has moved ahead by leaps and bounds as far as data sharing is concerned. Whenever, a Facebook user would click on an advert that appeared on his or her profile page, the website would give away data such as who is clicking, as well as the complete user’s profile page. If you are on your profile page and you click on an advert for Hawaii holiday you are actually telling the advertiser everything about yourself. Ben Edelman of the Harvard Business School told the above stated to the Wall street journal.

The advertisers however have washed their hands off and stated that not only are they unaware of this but the additional data has also been unused by them.

Facebook has upgraded its privacy policy throughout its journey as a social networking site. With the very recent occurrence to make user information available to the public has drawn a lot of flak from the public. The Federal Trade Commission complaints have also garnered support. The users are having a very hard time navigating the site’s privacy policy which is almost like going through maze. The privacy controls are such that they seem to be a little bugged and defective. This has led to users actually moving on and using other social networking sites. With Facebook coming in head to head with the heavy public criticism there is a strong chance that this will turn into a public interest legal issue. Since data sharing is considered to be a felony in the court of law.

The latest update that has been revealed is that Facebook has not been upgrading its policies and standards according to the growing industry standards that protect public privacy of its users. Facebook has also chosen to ignore its own privacy policies. What started off as a small rivulet is now turning into a raging rapid.

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