Thursday, February 26, 2009

I love Facebook but ...

A week ago the company published new terms and conditions for being a Facebook user which included a perpetual retroactive license to use your content nearly anyway they see fit - even after you "delete" your account. Thousands cried foul and there was even a threaten to file a complaint with the FTC. Facebook has since backed down and reverted to its previous user agreement. Nevertheless the issue points out the severe risks of using social networking services - especially Facebook. Some might say that the site operates in a fashion similar to a gigantic information gathering operation that lures people in by offering fancy tools that allow them to exercise the egos to various extremes. Others might just think it's "cool" and a "must-do" sort of thing because their peers expect them participate. The bottom line here is that Facebook has demonstrated a clear intent to leverage you and your content to their own advantage.
So my advice is this: Don't use Facebook too much... But if you can't resist then don't post anything on Facebook that the majority of people don't already know about you. In fact you might consider adopting as part of your company security policy a ban that prohibits employees from mentioning anything about your company in their Facebook profiles. One tiny data leak could be used against you and there'd probably be little if anything you can do about it.

I love Facebook but like everyhting else, don't exagerate and that's exactly what everyone is doing. And I haven't even spoken about the (in)security of possible 'Facebook'-applications and other related security problems.