The internet has always posed privacy concerns, and Facebook is no exception. Searching the term “privacy” on Facebook’s search engine will generate over 500 groups that discuss everything from third party information sharing to the right to free speech. Included in these groups, is a note that has been circulating through “friends” which includes allegations that Facebook is connected to the Central Intelligence Agency and that Facebook is selling user information through a development platform.
1. A user has the option of inviting friends by email. Facebook keeps a copy of any email address that is used for invite purposes so that they may track the success of their referral program. You have the option of requesting that they remove this information from their system by contacting them.
2. Facebook may collect information about you from other sources (websites, links, blogs etc). They do so for the purposes of creating more “personalized features” for users.
Facebook has also created a Facebook Platform which allows certain applications and sites to access your user content in a “limited fashion”. A list of these applications and sites is available through the Facebook Platform component of a user’s privacy settings. A user can choose to uncheck any information they do not was shared through the platform.
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has several times stated that Facebook is not “harvesting” information for any group or government agency. However, doubts remain, specifically with reference to numbers 6 and 7 listed above.
The site’s extensive list of privacy settings, include who may search your name, and who can access specific information on your profile from your wall, to your photos, to your status updates. You can also create a limited profile, restricting certain people’s access to certain information. In light of the above, these privacy settings a certainly worth examination by every facebook user.
Indeed. Even Facebook can’t be perfect.