Facebook continues to try and find ways to eliminate your privacy. This time with instant personalizations. It’s now more difficult to opt out of things, making one wonder why they should ever keep a Facebook account at all. Facebook says that you can click one button to opt-out of instant personalizations, but that doesn’t tell the whole picture.
To get your privacy settings back, or set them for the first time, head over to the EFF, where they have a detailed list of what to do to lock down your Facebook account again. It took me about five minutes to check and double check everything.
If you leave these services “on” as Facebook has set them, whenever you log onto something, such as Pandora, your friends can see what you are listening to and what you have recently listened to. While you may think, “Who cares what music I’m listening to?” you will eventually have other connections that you don’t want anyone to know about. It can already connect to microsoft docs, which may be filled with personal or work projects, which could be sensitive. If you accidentally forget to sign out of Facebook, it’s sharing that information. Personally, it’s too intrusive now and, yet, everyone can see where the instant personalizations are headed, but they don’t seem to care.
Facebook has become Big Brother. They get people to voluntarily input very personal information that can be tracked, including family members, religion, political affiliations, and favorite pastimes. Once your friends and family tag you in a photo, they know what you really did last Saturday night. Add a little Foursquare to Facebook and let them know your GPS location at any given time and where you like to hang out to make the circle complete. The best part about it is that, while Facebook actively lobbies Washington for money and government spies, you’ve willingly given every law enforcement agency in the country everything they want to know about you without them ever lifting a finger or needing a warrant.
Facebook has succeeded in giving its users the allusion of privacy on a public site, leaving everyone to become complacent about keeping track of the myriad changes going on behind the scenes. The constant changes assure Facebook that you can never keep all your information private. If you want out, you can take the arduous steps to formally deleting your account or try the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.