Will FACEBOOK Ever Learn After FTC Settlement? | Jeff Kagan Tech Analyst
Users both love and hate Facebook, and all at the same time. They love the innovation and new ways to stay in touch. They hate the invasion of privacy and other concerns over their personal information on the site.
The problem is Facebook is an idea created by and a company run by young adults.
I have nothing against twenty-something’s. I have kids of my own and love them to pieces. But I realize their concerns about privacy and other important issues are much more relaxed compared with mine.
The older we get, the more careful we become. The problem is Facebook is operated by young adults and used by everyone. That’s the rub.
Facebook problems in this area are that simple and that complex.
Hopefully these United States Federal Trade Commission settlement of charges that Facebook deceived users about it’s use of personal information will be a wake up call for the company.
But I don’t think so. Not yet.
The FTC charged that Facebook promised users they could keep their data private, but instead allowed the information to be shared and made public.
The settlement says the company must give consumers clear notice and get their consent before sharing their information beyond the privacy settings.
Facebook will also be required to have a privacy program to protect consumers and get third party audit every two years.
Is that enough? I don’t think so, but it is a step in the right direction. The problem is penalties come after people get hurt. Laws come after that.
The problem is we have an expectancy of privacy and we are continually let down. The truth is we have very little privacy these days. We just don’t realize it.
This is one step in what I see as a multi-step process to possibly rebuild our privacy. Will it work? I don’t think so. The cat is out of the bag.
Personal data should be protected, but with assorted new technology and tech companies entering the scene it is getting harder, not easier to stay private.
The problem is most users never read the terms of service. They just click OK and start using the service. Even when they do, companies must then play by their own rules.
The threat is getting worse.
Wireless devices like smart phones, tablet computers, laptops, browsers, web sites and all sorts of social media are all in a position to create chaos with our privacy.
The cloud is the next step and that makes things worse. While it makes sense to store information online, in the cloud, and access it from all our devices, it also opens up brand new privacy concerns.
I have heard that users who upload their personal information to the cloud, give up their privacy because they give up their ownership of the data. Imagine that.
We have a long way to do before we are protected. This is just one step in a long journey. But its a step in the right direction anyway.
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Please attribute to Jeff Kagan, Tech Industry Analyst with www.jeffKAGAN.com
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Jeff KAGAN| Tech Industry Analyst www.jeffKAGAN.com
Analyst sharing perspective on the changing industry for 25 years
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