Facebook Changes Compromise Your Privacy

As of last week, Facebook has added two new ways that you can connect to things you care about. The problem with these changes is that they takes away the user’s ability to control who can see these connections. The first change made is the addition of Community Pages described by Facebook:

Community Pages are a new type of Facebook Page dedicated to a topic or experience that is owned collectively by the community connected to it. Just like official Pages for businesses, organizations, and public figures, Community Pages let you connect with others who share similar interests and experiences.

The addition of these new pages mean that certain parts of your profile, “including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests” will now be transformed into “connections,” meaning that they will be shared publicly. If you don’t want these parts of your profile to be made public, your only option is to delete them.

The second change that they made is More Connected Profiles, which links personal information about yourself, such as your likes and interests, favorite books, music and movies, to other users with the same personal information. Facebook explains it like this:

Now, certain parts of your profile, including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests, will contain “connections.” Instead of just boring text, these connections are actually Pages, so your profile will become immediately more connected to the places, things and experiences that matter to you.

The issue is not that they force you to link your interests without permission and then leak your personal information, but rather that they remove an option to include such information to only your friends – without links. You can manage and remove connections, control the visibility, or opt-out, but you can not include the information without it being public knowledge. So it’s all or nothing.

Facebook has added a post – Connecting to Everything you Care About –  on their blog with details of these new changes. Make sure that you know what is on your Facebook Page and what is visible to your friends and everyone on Facebook. Visit Facebook’s Privacy Page for more information and always remember – Posts are Public, Permanent, and Exploitable!

UPDATE: Read Facebook Reacts to Senators Concerns on CNN about a letter sent to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder, by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Al Franken of Minnesota addressing the recent changes with regard to users privacy.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.