After reading this, this and this about Facebook privacy issues, I thought about deleting my account. The conclusion I came to is that I simply can’t, for the same reason that I kept my MySpace for three years longer than I wanted to — I want to use Facebook to keep in touch with people, especially since I’m graduating and moving.
I’m under no delusions that Facebook is actually private anymore. It may have been once upon a time when it first started, but things have changed drastically since then. I know everything I post will just make it out into the Facebook-sphere and the Web anyway.
That being said, I did go through every single one of my privacy settings and made sure that: the information I put on Facebook is only available for friends (with the exception of my bio), the photos I post are only for friends to see, my friends cannot share any of my information, etc., etc. I turned off the option of Facebook linking to other websites with my information without my permission, which I found disturbing enough last week that I took a screenshot of it.
(Note: Things that you can’t make private are your favorite quotes and whatever pages you’ve liked/became a fan of. No idea why this is.)
Since Facebook has made allowed outside application developers to start storing information, I went through all of my applications and deleted the ones I didn’t need. Since applications were introduced a few years ago, I had authorized more than 400 applications to get access to information on my profile. Seriously. I’ve deleted all of them except for the select few I actually use.
I also went through and deleted every single one of my interests (books, movies, music, TV) because I don’t like that Facebook is automatically linking to a community pages that I want nothing to do with (and because they tried to link my activities of “Kicking ass, taking names and living the dream” to separate pages).
So now, to the point of this: since a lot of people I know aren’t nearly as obsessive as I am about social networking/media, I just wanted to say that I hope all of you also take a look at your own privacy settings, community pages and application settings. If I am having doubts about how “open” Facebook has made things, I’m sure someone else is, too.