If you are a reader of my blog you know that I am not one to run screaming every time a new privacy concern is mentioned in the media. I generally like to tout the benefits of becoming an educated consumer and critical thinker, which will keep you safe in most situations. However, that is not the case here.
Let me start by telling you a little story. My husband and our best friends were out on the town recently and found ourselves in a very cool little jazz club in downtown Detroit. Both my best friend and I put up posts on our Facebook pages about how awesome the place was, and my friend posted some pictures. Now, as much as we liked this place neither of us felt it necessary to create a fan page, group or the like. Yet, Facebook felt differently. With in a few seconds (I’m not exaggerating here, I’ve tested it). A community page was created, with our posts and my friends pictures. It was linked to a Wikipedia entry about the club and quickly people were hitting “Like” and reading our comments.
The concern lies in the fact that ALL of my posts are supposed to be behind the privacy wall. I have set my security settings to the highest level and I don’t allow anyone other than my friends to see what I have written. However, there were my posts for anyone in the community to see. I even logged out and searched for the page on Google. Sure enough, there were my comments for anyone to see!
Ever mentioned a singer you like, an employer you don’t, posted a picture of you and your kids at the zoo. These items are no longer SAFE! Facebook is putting them on a page for the whole world to see without your permission! So if you type, “God, I felt so fat trying on dresses today at Old Navy”, Boom….anyone searching for “Old Navy” anywhere on the web can read your “private” post.
Just imagine complaining to your friends about your employer and having your post appear on your EMPLOYER’S Community page!!!! You can read more in this note from the Community pages violate our privacy! group.
Scared yet? You should be, especially if you work in marketing! I was on a conference call today with marketing professionals from across many different industries. There were major privacy and legal concerns voiced from all involved. Facebook and Wikipedia have been unresponsive to almost all of these company’s pleas for assistance with this issue. The worst part is that there is no message on these Community pages that they are not the official page of the company and no indication that the subject of the page has NO control over it’s contents.
So, what can you do about this? Well, some people are leaving Facebook all together. I am not ready to do that just yet. However, I will be joining the June 6th Facebook protest by not logging in or interacting with Facebook in any way on that day! You can also spread the word by Tweeting the following, “Please help spread the word about #FacebookProtest. Join us today! http://bit.ly/dje6YQ”
As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome!