Facebook Evading Privacy Questions

Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, and Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, are complaining Facebook is not answering questions about how the company tracks its users via cookies.


In my mind, security and privacy are two sides of the same coin. To have privacy means you must have security to obtain it. Should security demand access to your data for security reasons, then privacy is invaded.

A good demonstration of that in practice, is laws on the books involving sexual harassment, the liability that corporations bear in providing emails and communications between workers, and the ability to disprove sexual harassment charges by being able to show the source info through investigation. In order to have the data to investigate any such charges, the company hosting the email must have access to the data, meaning that any communications you have over a company network will have no personal privacy.

Where the edges get blurred between privacy and security is in places like social sites. When you see a privacy policy put up by a website or social site, do not think for a moment they are concerned with your privacy. The policy is there to provide legal means to access your data, not to protect it. Anytime a privacy policy has more than a few sentences to describe it’s workings and what it means, it means you are giving up your right to privacy to access said site. Big written policies merely mean they have to have somewhere to hide it.

Social sites such as Facebook are free for a reason. Since you are not paying for use, you the user, are the cash cow. This has been demonstrated time and again. Facebook tried in the past to put over a spy program called Beacon. You can search the term and find out all about it and the stink it raised. Beacon followed you where you went on the net, determined what you bought, and made recommendations to your friends based on that…it’s called advertising. In just such a manner, a young lady found out her boyfriend had purchased a ring for her, right after he had done so, and knew ahead of time what was going to happen. So much for privacy eh? Beacon was killed because the members of the site raised so much cain over being spied upon in that manner. Naturally Facebook was getting paid to release this info so they did not do so willingly.

This issue with the Like button did not start up in the US. It first surfaced in Germany where privacy laws are stronger. Facebook, under German court order is required to remove data links for datamining purposes to it’s Like button on other websites.

Ireland followed with their own investigation of Facebook and the Like button. It two required Facebook to remove the datamining from the button that allowed Facebook to follow it’s members offsite.

This is why Facebook now says it has fixed the problem. Facebook doesn’t want to give up this spying because they have contracts with third party putting money in their pocket. Cancelling contracts means at the least giving back the money or at the worst paying for breaking the contract.

I personally will never use Facebook or other similar social sites. I resent the intrusion into my privacy. I am not fool enough to think that I can escape all privacy violations but I am sure of one thing. No one will protect your privacy for you if you are not concerned enough to do so yourself.

Posted in Thoughts.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *