Facebook Privacy and Canada

The current buzz in Facebook news today is the report released by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner in which she finds that “Facebook needs to improve privacy practices” and has given them 3o days to comply. Putting aside the ridiculous assumptions that a Canadian bureaucrat should have any say in a Social Networking site, there are a few points in her report and in Facebook’s practices that I want to address.

One of commissioner¬†Jennifer Stoddart‘s comments was that Facebook needs to be transparent with their users. This is a great point that has been made by critics of the “walled garden” approach for quite some time. Facebook had addressed this issue by become more open, listing accounts on Google, and granting usernames. But this was another point of contention.

According to Ms Stoddart, users should have their accounts completely private – no sharing outside your network – unless they opt in. Now, my gut reaction is to see this as antithesis to the notion of Social Media. If you sign up for a Facebook account, you are saying that you want to be “found” on the internet, and to share you pictures, stories and life, with anyone who wants to. That is the social aspect of Social Media.

I could be completely out to lunch here, in fact I probably am. But I wanted to start a discussion. How much privacy is too much privacy (in Social Media)? Does the Commissioner have any jurisdiction over Facebook?

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  • http://joeradman.com/ Joe Radman

    I find it ludicrous that Stoddart (or any similar such gvt agency) might force, or try to force a website to operate differently. The usage of Facebook, or any other social website, is completely voluntary.

    If you want privacy, don't post material on FB or any other site.

    She needs to look up Eben Moglen.

    Good post Titus.

  • http://deys.ca billdeys

    She shouldn't have any say over what goes on on Facebook. It's a private company, people are free to put their information there if they want as if they are that worried about it getting out they simply shouldn't join.

    Now on the side of how much should privacy? I think there should be a great extent in options as to what you personally want to make public and private. It should all be up to user choice. It's up to you to make your self open and participate in social!

  • http://joeradman.com/ Joe Radman

    I find it ludicrous that Stoddart (or any similar such gvt agency) might force, or try to force a website to operate differently. The usage of Facebook, or any other social website, is completely voluntary.

    If you want privacy, don't post material on FB or any other site.

    She needs to look up Eben Moglen.

    Good post Titus.

  • http://deys.ca billdeys

    She shouldn't have any say over what goes on on Facebook. It's a private company, people are free to put their information there if they want as if they are that worried about it getting out they simply shouldn't join.

    Now on the side of how much should privacy? I think there should be a great extent in options as to what you personally want to make public and private. It should all be up to user choice. It's up to you to make your self open and participate in social!

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