Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Are You Leaving Facebook?

People keep complaining about Facebook and its “privacy issues.” Personally, the things you really want to keep private like your bank account and credit info are just as available as that picture of you standing on a table drinking beer in a gigantic glass boot at your birthday party.

To a certain extent I can understand the privacy arguments. According to various news outlets, it takes something like a 150 clicks to get to optimal privacy levels where your information is only accessible to people on your network and that does really suck. It’s grossly inconvenient and Facebook should have taken that into consideration in their last update.

Every other argument, on the other hand, I am not too keen on and here’s why.

No such thing as a free lunch

Not to be an FB defender, but they gave you a place to communicate with your friends and waste a lot of time. If Wikipedia created FB maybe I would be crazy over the fact that they are collecting data to sell to their advertisers, but they didn’t. A person who wanted to make money off of it created it.

How many other things have you opted of because of privacy issues?

As I said earlier, I – yes, little old me - can buy your credit information right now. I can know your monthly rent, your student loan debt, whether or not you like to pay your bills on time, and lots of other fun stuff. But, do you still have a credit card? On the mountain of issues you have with maintaining your “privacy,” I would think this would be more important than the number of friends who saw your duck on Farmville.

That smartphone you have is also a great way to get extra information on you. Let’s say you search for something on Google on your iPhone on the AT&T network. One simple search for the nearest McDonald’s tells four gigantic corporations that you’re a total fatty. Do you still have a smartphone?

Even the things you do to avoid ads are helping advertisers find out information about you

If you own a DVR for the sole purpose of avoiding commercials, then you’re actually helping out the enemy. First, us advertisers are investing more in product placement on your favorite shows. That’s right you can’t avoid us. Second, your cable company and Tivo tell us what you record and what you skip. If there is an off chance that you sit through an ad, we want to know why. That’s the type of information we really like to get our hands on.

In conclusion…

Seriously people, please pick your battles. The people who are really out to screw us are doing a much better job of digging into our private lives, and not letting us know.


Marc Jordan Paxton said...

I whole-heartedly agree. Honestly, I always assumed that Facebook had been giving information about me to advertisers. How else would those ads in the side bar always seem to connect with people so well? Targeting, based on your data, people!

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