December 17, 2013

Facebook, Google and Privacy

Gizmondo offers advice on How to Erase Yourself from the Internet, especially from the four largest social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn

Facebook's rule change may help pedophiles to target 13-year-olds

Until now 13 to 17-year olds barred from making posts visible to all users. But Facebook removed that protection and images can be shared publicly.  Move condemned as a 'disaster' by campaigners.

Study: Facebook Use Predicts Decline In Happiness

A new study shows that Facebook may help people feel connected, but it doesn’t make them any happier.  In fact, according to the research, which was conducted by the University of Michigan, Facebook use actually predicts a decline in a person’s well-being.

Facebook users are committing 'virtual identity suicide' in droves and quitting the site over privacy and addiction fears

Report suggests Facebook recently lost active users in the U.S and UK.  The majority of people quitting the site blamed concerns over privacy.    Other reasons included fear of addiction, and shallow conversations

Facebook tracks everything you type even if you DON'T post the update or comment

A Facebook data scientist studied the HTML code of 3.7 million profiles to discover 71% of users regularly type comments and statuses before deciding not to post them. The study, also found men are more likely to abandon a post on the social network site, than women.

From Neatorama  Facebook Security Simulator

Most epic read of our time?  Google's terms and conditions, say scientists

Google's latest terms and conditions are more difficult to understand than Anglo-Saxon saga Beowulf, say researchers

Google will soon put your face, name, and content in its ads

If you always wanted to see your shining face next to Google ads, your wish will soon be granted. Today Google announced plans to roll out “shared endorsements,” which will augment its own advertisements with information from users who rated, reviewed, or gave a +1 to the service or location in question.

The move echoes Facebook’s “sponsored stories,” where the social network started turning users’ likes or check-ins into ads on its site, all without asking permission or even notifying them. A public outcry, class-action lawsuit, $20 million settlement, and limitations on the use of users’ content followed.

Google revealed its shared endorsements scheme in a change to its terms of service. The updates state that going forward, friends, family, “and others” may see a user’s Google profile name, photo, and any endorsement they’ve created for a company alongside ads for that company.
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Users are opted in to Google's new scheme by default. In the past, Google gave itself permission to use users’ +1s alongside advertisements unless the user specifically opted out. The new “shared endorsements” are an extension of that setting, wherein Google gives itself permission to take even more of a user’s content and place it alongside ads.
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To opt out of being a shared endorsement, Google users must go to the “shared endorsement” settings page, which is currently not linked anywhere from either their Google+ account or privacy settings (the ads have yet to go into effect, so Google may be waiting to integrate the page until the feature is live). At the bottom of the page is a checkbox next to the phrase “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”

MIT Technology Review  The Real Privacy Problem

As Web companies and government agencies analyze ever more information about our lives, it’s tempting to respond by passing new privacy laws or creating mechanisms that pay us for our data. Instead, we need a civic solution, because democracy is at risk.

Too much information

Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharersm‘.  Thinking about online privacy doesn’t come naturally to us,’ Loewenstein told me when I spoke to him on the phone. ‘Nothing in our evolution or culture has equipped us to deal with it.’

When a boy hit puberty, he disappeared into the jungle, returning a man. In today's digital culture this is precisely the stage at which we make our lives most exposed to the public gaze
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The need for privacy remains, but the means to meet it — our privacy instincts — are no longer fit for purpose.
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Over time, we will probably get smarter about online sharing. But right now, we’re pretty stupid about it. Perhaps this is because, at some primal level, we don’t really believe in the internet. Humans evolved their instinct for privacy in a world where words and acts disappeared the moment they were spoken or made. Our brains are barely getting used to the idea that our thoughts or actions can be written down or photographed, let alone take on a free-floating, indestructible life of their own. Until we catch up, we’ll continue to overshare.

Posted by Jill Fallon at December 17, 2013 11:50 PM | Permalink