Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pros/Cons Of Facebook Privacy Policy

Sunday night, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on "60 Minutes". I really enjoyed watching that interview and it was clear to me at the end that he had matured 10 years in the past two running his multi-billion dollar company. Like millions of other people around the world, I visit the social network "Facebook" on a daily basis. However, like most other folks I do worry about how "Facebook" and their affiliated companies use the personal information they obtain from the visits of over 500 million people around the world. So, what are the pros and cons to the Facebook Privacy Policy and do the concerns of millions of people who they collect personal information on threaten the privacy of their visitors and members?

The pros of Facebook's Privacy Policy are that any member of their social network has the right to opt-out of letting any of their personal information becoming public. However, most people who use Facebook do not pay that much attention to their own privacy settings and sometimes unknowingly allow information they do not want to become public to do so. So is it the fault of Facebook that their users do not take a proactive approach to their own privacy or is it the fault of the user? There resides the biggest question around who should police the Internet and social websites like Facebook. Should it be the users responsibility to protect themselves or is that job best left to Facebook and eventually governments around the world?

The biggest thing on the cons side of Facebook's Privacy Policy is that too many important decisions, which should be made on an opt-in basis, are instead place as an opt-out for their users. Since most people do not think that much about their own privacy until it is compromised or stolen - most of Facebook's new and modern applications should all require each user to opt-in to the gathering of consumers information, instead of forcing the user to opt-out. The pros and cons of Facebook and it's privacy policy are too numerous to write about in this small blog post. However - the pros of using the social network Facebook to keep up with family and friends, at present, far outweigh the cons - if just a small amount of common sense is utilized by users and visitors to their website.

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