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It’s Facebook’s Sandbox, Play if you Want 11 May 2010

Posted by sbrashear in Reflection, Trends.
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At the risk of being kicked out of the MCDM program … well not kicked out as I’m sure that that I have done or said other things that might warrant that, I would propose that those complaining about the privacy changes made by Facebook in recent weeks have very little standing on which to do so.

First off, I don’t consider myself a curmudgeon, but I suppose any one who is doesn’t consider there self one. Facebook has never really interested me. And I don’t fully understand all of its functions. When a tool doesn’t interest me, the only reason for me to use it because it makes what I do easier and more efficient. I readily abandoned the enlarger for the film scanner and gave up the film scanner for the digital scanner. If software makes my workflow more efficient I implement it. Facebook has never been any of those for me. I’m sure someone with more a mind more attuned to marketing and social media could tell me why I should be more active.

All that said, I don’t understand that outrage over the Facebook privacy changes. Furthermore, I wonder if the average Facebook user is aware of or even cares about the changes in its privacy policy. From what I’ve read, and for lack of a better description it the technophile social media-phile bloggers and privacy rights groups that are making all the noise. And while I don’t particularly like my data sold and made available to corporations and possibly the general public, I don’t fault Facebook for changing its privacy policy. It is their right to do so. They own the sandbox. Users must play by their rules in their sandbox. If users don’t like the rules they should leave and find another sandbox in which to play. I’m sure as with virtually all other Terms of Service agreements, Facebook reserved the right to make changes to their privacy policy at any time.

Users are not forced to sign up for Facebook nor are they paying for the service. Yes, their privacy policy changed dramatically from its inception, but it is a free service. However that mean it doesn’t cost anything to produce, maintain and develop. At some point, Facebook is going to need to make money for its investors, and I’m betting advertising, while more effective than most online advertising, is not going to offer investors a return on their investment. I’m sure many of Facebook’s detractors, were some of the same people who chastised newspapers for relying so heavily on advertising. In the information age, I’m baffled as to how those same people who decry Facebook’s new privacy policy didn’t see it coming. How did they not see that the valuable asset Facebook has is personal data? And how could the reasonably expect Facebook not to try and monetize those assets? Somebody’s got to pay for the ‘free’ service. I also wonder why privacy advocates and the same bloggers aren’t up in arms over other services, which mine and sell our data to other corporations, such as rewards cards. Even if you don’t use rewards cards, your data will be collected and sold if you use a debit cards or credit card.

Abandon Facebook, if you don’t like the privacy policy. I’m sure you can keep up with your core group of friends and family in other ways. Think back before Facebook. Only give out minimal information to any online site I only use minimal information on my Facebook page, but some might argue because I’m really not that interesting, which is true, I’m not very interesting, which in this case might be a blessing of some sort.

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