Why Do We Act Surprised when Facebook Fails on Privacy?

Facebook and privacy, seems like the two are always joined at the hip in a new controversy. It’s entertaining watching people make a big fuss and go right back to browsing. At the end of the day there are three types of Facebook users.

Type A fully understands that Facebook is going to push every limit out there. They also understand privacy is virtually dead and they use social media just enough to get by without disclosing too much about their personal life.

Type B reads these reports, kicks and screams, and then goes right back to using Facebook like they always do. Perhaps they adjust their privacy settings or go through the motions to “get secure” but it hardly makes a difference in the end.

Type C doesn’t know and/or care what’s going on, who’s tracking what, and no privacy issue or even a data breach is going to stop them from posting everything they do on Facebook.

Back to Facebook’s denial today of accusations that user location data is being used to match you with other Facebook users.

Facebook told MediaPost that it was all a misunderstanding, stating that it doesn’t use phone location data to recommend friends.

Facebook states that the “People you may know” function draws its recommendations based on “mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported and many other factors.”

Did you catch the last part of that?  And many other factors…  The issue here is that those factors have never been disclosed or spelled out, hidden behind some magic pixie dust algorithm.

Wake up people. Facebook has been violating user privacy since day one. What else did you expect from a founder, who I consider brilliant, who had this exchange with a friend about his own user base:

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You don’t get in Zuckerberg’s position without pushing the envelope 24/7.  News flash, so is every other company with revenue tied to user data. They have a responsibility to investors and shareholders and it’s win or go home. Every once in a while they stray too far and it turns into a PR crisis.  A statement, an apology, perhaps even a policy change does the trick and it’s back to work. Don’t think for a second it changes much behind the scenes.

The only number that makes an impact is user attrition.  Facebook will push the limits of privacy as far as you let them. It’s up to you to go along for the ride or unplug.

Just keep in mind my fellow Facebook users, while you’re out there posting away, Mark Zuckerberg has his webcam and audio jack taped up when he’s on his computer.
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