Yet another reason to quit Facebook (YARTQF)

I know I know, me harping on quitting Facebook is old news. But now there’s yet another reason to quit Facebook. Some police in the United Kingdom are now harvesting user information via a Facebook application. And keep in mind that third party applications on Facebook are vetted poorly and often have much more access to your data than is required. But that’s not all …

The privacy settings on who gets to view what data about you only matter for other users, not applications. So even if you have your privacy settings set so that no one can see your uploaded pictures, with this application, the police can see them anyway. Best yet, even if you don’t install the application, if one of your “friends” does (and keep in mind it’s not uncommon to have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook), the police still get a nice deal of information on you. Feel like tracking down every one of the friends in your list and verifying that none of them is running, knowingly or unknowingly, a 3rd party application that is violating your privacy?

I could tell which way the wind was blowing back when Beacon was first announced, and so I decided to quit immediately. That was a good decision on my part. In the intervening time, Facebook has only gotten worse and worse. How many privacy violations are you going to put up with before you too decide that it’s time to log off for good? It’s just the police in England who are doing this now, but once other police departments realize this is possible, how will they resist?

6 Responses to “Yet another reason to quit Facebook (YARTQF)”

  1. Kelly Martin Says:

    I still use Facebook, but I don’t put any information in it that I don’t mind having made available publicly. The best way to protect your privacy is simply not to share information you don’t want to share. That way, you don’t have to rely on others to protect your privacy.

  2. T2A` Says:

    Blockbuster just got sued by Facebook stealing information. Hooray.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_hi_te/blockbuster_facebook

    I never used Facebook too heavily but I also quit when I heard about their privacy invasions.

  3. T2A` Says:

    I really wish I could edit my comments here, as I overlook stupid errors on my part far too often. “by” should be “because of”. I think.

  4. Greg Maxwell Says:

    Kelly, Facebook TOS claims that they can go digging on you elsewhere and include whatever they uncover in your profile. Their Beacon program is an example of them doing exactly that…. Though I suppose they could do the same crap weather you were a user or not… ;)

  5. Kelly Martin Says:

    Yeah, and there are already lots of sites doing exactly that whether or not you sign up on them.

    The thing is, there’s basically no value in them “digging stuff up” about me and publishing it for free on my profile.

  6. Ben Mclellan Says:

    I agree with all these comments. the trouble for me is that I am not sure about what they have planned for down the road. I made sure I changed or deleted my info before I deactivated my account.
    That way, if they do retrieve it, the info contained there in will be of no use to any one.