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Facebook's Plan To Automatically Share Your Data 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-thoughtful dept.
Giosuele sends in this excerpt from TechCrunch: "In anticipation of a slew of new features that will be launching at f8, today Facebook announced that it was once again making changes to its privacy policy. One of the biggest changes that Facebook is making involves applications and third-party websites. We've been hearing whispers from multiple sources about these changes, and the announcement all but confirms what Facebook is planning to do. In short, it sounds like Facebook is going to be automatically opting users into a reduced form of Facebook Connect on certain third party sites — a bold change that may well unnerve users, at least at first."
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Facebook's Plan To Automatically Share Your Data

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  • Nooooo! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Island Admin (1562905) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:30PM (#31640288)
    Letting all the users of slashdot access my friends ... I see trouble in future :P
    • Re:Nooooo! (Score:5, Funny)

      by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:38PM (#31640370) Journal
      That's ok, you don't have any friends.
      • Re:Nooooo! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @01:31PM (#31640898) Journal

        That's ok, you don't have any friends.

        I deleted all of my friends. At least from my Facebook account.
        Then I made all information on FB visible to friends only, and nothing accessible to applications, advertisers, etc. Then I deleted all photos, personal data, posts, and so forth. It takes a while, as Facebook has settings links for different things in several places. The account remains active, but is utterly devoid of content (even my birth date has "typographical errors"). That must make me a Facebook zombie, of sorts.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Shouldn't this be modded as funny?

          I mean, it is the same as not being on Facebook, with the pointlessness of having an account.

          As for me: What is this Facebook you speak of?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AmberBlackCat (829689)
          So what's the purpose of the account?
        • by Niggle (68950)

          FB does have an "Only Me" privacy setting available if you'd like to tighten that account up a bit more. You have to select the "Customise" option on most of the privacy settings to actually see it.

          • FB does have an "Only Me" privacy setting available if you'd like to tighten that account up a bit more. You have to select the "Customise" option on most of the privacy settings to actually see it.

            Yep, did that too, everywhere the option existed. But for some items, Facebook does not give an "Only me" option, so "Only friends" is the best available. If you also delete all your friends, then there is no real difference between the two options :)
            Facebook needs more zombies!!!

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Letting all the users of slashdot access my friends

      I don't think my Mom will mind.

  • I love being AC (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Precisely for things like this.

    • Agreed, 110% (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "You will dress only in attire specially sanctioned by M.I.B. special services. You'll conform to the identity we give you. Eat where we tell you. Live where we tell you.

      From now on, you'll have no identifying marks of any kind. You will not stand out in any way.

      Your entire image is crafted to leave no lasting memory with anyone you encounter. You are a rumor, recognizable only as deja vu, and dismissed just as quickly. You don't exist. You were never even born. Anonymity is your name, silence is your native tongue.

      You are no longer part of the system. You are above the system, over it, beyond it. We're "them." We're "they." We are the Men in Black." - Zed, to Agent J & Agent K from the film "MEN IN BLACK"

      See subject-line above...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:32PM (#31640314)

    I don't understand what is wrong with everyone on the internet. You cry about privacy but willingly give out your real-life information to these websites. Each and every one of these social networking websites exists for one purpose and that's to sell your information, your demographics to advertisers and generate revenue.

    None of these sites are altruistic establishments who seek to serve the public good guarding one's privacy. At the end of the day you're engaging in opt-in Big Brother and it's far more disturbing than the advanced police state that exists in the UK and is growing in the United States of America.

    Doesn't matter if you're using a throwaway freemail account because even then it's ridiculously easy to find one's real-life information. Just stop going there, delete your information and send their company a strongly-worded letter demanding they remove your information.

    • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:50PM (#31640496) Journal

      Well, in this case the sharing of information to third party websites will be done automatically and you are automatically opted-in to the feature. I don't cry about privacy when I can decide when, what and how I give it out. When it happens automatically like here, then I'm sure as hell will complain about it.

      • Their policy means nothing, since they can always change it on a whim. The only way to have control over your information and privacy is to control it yourself.

        Anyone feel like making a distributed peer to peer facebook clone where each user runs (or at least has the ability to run) their own server?

      • by DigitAl56K (805623) * on Saturday March 27, 2010 @02:18PM (#31641334)

        Exactly!

        Quoting the draft from TC's report:

        In order to provide you with useful social experiences off of Facebook, we occasionally need to provide General Information about you to pre-approved third party websites and applications that use Platform at the time you visit them (if you are still logged in to Facebook). Similarly, when one of your friends visits a pre-approved website or application, it will receive General Information about you so you and your friend can be connected on that website as well (if you also have an account with that website).

        Wait, Facebook, you don't "occasionally need to provide" anything. I did not ask or want you to provide "useful social experiences off of Facebook".

        P.S. THIS STINKS OF BEACON

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jonpublic (676412)

        What if I switched to using a browser only for facebook?

        Probably won't matter because they'll find a new way to share my info.

    • by blai (1380673)

      I don't understand what is wrong with everyone on the internet. You cry about privacy but willingly give out your real-life information to these websites.

      I am putting my information up on a widely used platform where I can easily exchange information with the people I want. The fact that the platform is a 3rd-party website is not at all voluntary.

    • by Dumnezeu (1673634)

      I don't understand what is wrong with everyone on the internet. You cry about privacy but willingly give out your real-life information to these websites.

      "We" (I'm not part of the "we") willingly give it away, because that's what their TOS say: if you use false information, you don't exist, therefore your account will be deleted, because it doesn't belong to anyone (or you are impersonating someone, which is against the law in any country on Earth).

    • by Macka (9388) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @01:08PM (#31640704)

      They know my full name and the name of my wife; my birthday and home town and a google email address. That's it. What's the big deal about that? It's not like they have access to any of my bank details, credit cards, NI number, passport number, or anything that would really cause me grief if it got into the wrong hands.

      Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. Sheesh !

      • by mellon (7048) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @01:24PM (#31640850) Homepage

        You're kidding, right? Those are the details that an identity thief needs to impersonate you. Social engineering is a well-understood art, and the people you do it to are still living in the 20th century and don't realize that everybody's birthdays and relationships are effectively public knowledge, so if you can give them that information about a person you want to impersonate, they will believe that you are that person and then give you the information you need to get the other details.

        Some institutions are starting to wise up to this, but it's hard to know which institutions you do business with are wise to this, and most people don't check, even if they are among the very small percentage of people who realize they should. Do you know what your bank's information protection policy is, what an employee has to do to get fired for violating it, and whether or not that policy is actually enforced?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2010 @01:37PM (#31640940)

          Whoosh.

        • by maxume (22995)

          Please say "fraud artist", identity exists separately from documentation (at best, documents merely confirm that the issuer has certain beliefs about the person depicted on the documents, at worst, they don't mean anything).

        • by Larryish (1215510)

          I have noticed that my bank does not ask me for picture ID when I make a deposit.

          The receipt shows not only the deposit amount but also the resulting account balance.

          Anyone who wants to know how much I have in my account has merely to know the account number and deposit one dollar to the account.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tompaulco (629533)
            I'll go one better. Even without knowing my account number, for one dollar I will tell you my balance.
      • by AndGodSed (968378)

        It's not like they have access to any of my bank details, credit cards, NI number, passport number, or anything that would really cause me grief if it got into the wrong hands.

        Yet.

    • I think that your post does a wonderful job of highlighting the hypocrisy and reality of this recurring issue. The reasons you outlined above are why I don't belong to MySpace, Facebook, or any other "social networking" websites, and probably never will in the future. Whenever you use anything freely, it is a privilege; so it is no wonder that many of these websites now feel an increasing sense of entitlement to user-contributed information.

      The naivete displayed in the replies to your comment are astound
    • by mazarin5 (309432)

      I don't understand what is wrong with everyone on the internet. You cry about privacy but willingly give out your real-life information to these websites.

      I absolutely disagree with this, but I don't have time to discuss it now. If you want to discuss this further, you can reach me here:

      Dan Cruz
      656 Maple Ave.
      San Diego, CA
      Home: (901) 271-5342
      Work: (901) 887-4040 x523
      Cell: (901) 279-8601

      You can reach me at my $65k/yr job from 8 to 2, and then I go to the gym for an hour. If you have to reach me next week, I'll be on vacation with my wife Julia for six days, so call my cell. Also, this reuben sandwich is dee-licious!

      • Re:info (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TaoPhoenix (980487)

        That's interesting.

        Your address is in CA and your phone number is from Tennessee?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_code_901 [wikipedia.org]

        Yahoo maps says there is no Maple Ave in San Diego.

        So you are demonstrating the point of how easy it is to frame someone?

        • by mazarin5 (309432)

          Maybe my post wasn't as humorous as I had expected, but I've never seen somebody put so much effort into not getting a joke!

          Also, who am I framing for what now?

    • by prefec2 (875483)

      Social networks allow me to stay in contact with my friends in a better and easier way than by phone. If I would not have such sites, I would have to call them or send them mails. And because modern economy forces people to move often, you cannot visit your friends every weekend, because they live in another country or state or continent. And I have not given them my data under agreement A and then they change it and then they could sell it or give my data to people I do not want to.

    • by geck4o (1163883)
      -- it's far more disturbing than the advanced police state that exists in the UK and is growing in the United States of America -- How can the collection of overwhelmingly trivial personal information on the internet possibly be 'far more disturbing' than the inexorable loss of individual freedom and human rights that has occurred in the US and UK in the past decade or so? Doesn't make sense.
    • by kheldan (1460303)

      ..but willingly give out your real-life information..

      I, for one, don't. I know other people who also do not. I do have many friends who say "I have nothing to hide so why should I care?", and I don't bother trying to explain it to them because they just don't get the basic concept. Some of them may one day have a rude awakening when they discover that there is something about their lives they don't want the whole wide world knowing, but most will not. I will continue to use pseudonyms online, and carefully screen my own postings to such sites so as to mainta

    • by ydrol (626558)

      > advanced police state that exists in the UK

      Please explain.

    • by jsepeta (412566)

      as much as i have enjoyed touching base with people on facebook, i deleted all my other social networking accounts except for facebook and linked in tonight. and i am seriously considering dumping the other two. i dunno, i'm kind of tired of being humped by business and then told it's a good thing for me to have happen.

  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:40PM (#31640398)

    If you reserve the right to burden Facebook with the truth about yourself and your most sensitive information, then they reserve the right to relieve themselves of that burden by revealing it to whomever they see fit.

    The e-reward for e-trust.

    • Well, if they piss off their user base too much, said user base will up and move to the next social networking site that does have a modicum of stability and privacy. Simple as that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by quickgold192 (1014925)

        Doubtful. The majority of the Facebook user base cares little about actual privacy, and instead just wants a way to show as many people as possible how sick the party was last night and how stoked they are about Friday, but get this - Wednesday is the new Thursday; how awesome are they for thinking that one up?

        Their version of protest is creating a Facebook group titled "OMG stop our Facebook overlords!!! 100,000 members and we can change teh world!!!"

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:40PM (#31640402)
    One thing faster than the speed of light is the frequency with which Facebook changes its privacy policy to suck in the unwary. (Units deliberately left undefined.)
  • by mace9984 (1406805) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:42PM (#31640424) Journal
    Sexy Girl: FB Update - Just got out of the shower... LOCATION: 123 Main St. Creepy Man: FB Update - Just zipped up pants. 123 Main St. Broadview Security: Targeted Ad - Hey! Sexy Girl, Now is the time to think about home security!
  • by xarragon (944172) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:47PM (#31640464)
    And this comes as a surprise to anyone? The real danger is the proliferation of these services into everyday life. We already have examples of employers that demands access to prospective worker's Facebook accounts in real life. How long before you are viewed as being 'suspicious' for not having an account and sharing all your intimate details with the rest of the world? Everyone is doing it, why not you? Do you have anything to hide? I am also sure that Facebook themselves will in no way use the third-party data in order to track their users visits on other sites, would they?
    • by Chuq (8564) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @03:56PM (#31642100) Homepage Journal

      We already have examples of employers that demands access to prospective worker's Facebook accounts in real life.

      We do? Is that legal? Easy answer: "I don't have a facebook account". It's none of their damn business.

    • "We already have examples of employers that demands access to prospective worker's Facebook accounts in real life." Can you provide URLs or anything? It's not that I don't believe you (I absolutely do) but I want to see these for myself and to share with my library management class. I tried finding articles on my own, but my Google Fu must not be strong today.
    • by barzok (26681)

      Happened to a friend of mine with his local Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter. They told his Little that they were going to terminate their match of 6 years because my friend hadn't turned over his ID & password for any social networking sites he has an account on. They want access to it to make sure that Bigs aren't doing "bad" things and especially not posting information about/pictures of their Littles. Here's what he quoted from his chapter's policy (which he wasn't aware of previously):

      q. Internet U

  • But (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davidjgraph (1713990) * on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:51PM (#31640526)

    Are third party sites any more capable of doing anything complex with this information than Facebook? The extent to which I noticed facebook profiled me is the ads on the side would say "free gifts if you're male, 67 years old and live in Sausageville". Let's face it (no pun intended), Facebook probably gives prospective advertisers and third-party sites looking to use profile information some complex sounding presentation about the way that break down demographics to the point that an individual can be uniquely identified 24 seconds before they even think about logging into Facebook. But really, 99% of ads are based on sex, age and where they live, I'm sure a lot more companies than Facebook know this information, I think we're somewhat over-estimating technology companies' ability to mine data. OK, once I told a FB friend to not be such a baby and they got some ads about gifts for new parents. Maybe we should have a social experiment where we try to affect the ads by what we post. "Man, I wish I could get a cheap rate mobile, easy date in my area , cartoonize myself" should be a good starting point...

    ---
    This user was referred to this thread via their Farmville syndication feed. Farmville automatically linked their fruit and vegetable interests to breaking world news and current affairs. Their response on Slashdot.org has been logged and helps us build up an in-depth profile of the deepest workings of their mind, thanks!

    • by Eberlin (570874)

      I see you have Farmville Masteries in Onions, Peppers, and Corn as well as a stable full of horses. Here are free coupons for $.99 off your next Taco Bell purchase!

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        I see you have Farmville Masteries in Onions, Peppers, and Corn as well as a stable full of horses. Here are free coupons for $.99 off your next Taco Bell purchase!

        $.99 !? They're paying coupon holders a half dollar to eat as long as the have the ingredients?

        • by daveime (1253762)

          Perhaps they have an Facebook application that teaches basic math ?

          Since when was 99 cents "half" a dollar ?

  • Adult sites (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:57PM (#31640592) Homepage

    Hopefully they won't partner with adult sites...

    Richard is watching Porn Movie of the Day on SexSexSex.com, the dirty dirty bastard.

    • Hopefully they won't partner with adult sites...

      Richard is watching Porn Movie of the Day on SexSexSex.com, the dirty dirty bastard.

      <3 Richard's wife likes this!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Twitter/Facebook are flooded with advertisers so if you can't beat em join em. Use it as a press release page only.

  • about the cranky losers who constantly trumpet the fact they don't have a television, whenever the subject comes up

    however, i am now that cranky loser, for facebook: every time facebook comes up as an issue, i will trumpet the fact i don't have an account, and never will, and feel smugly superior for that fact

    it's nothing but a bonfire of vanities. you're just not that interesting, none of us are, sorry

    free your time and free yourself from endless navel gazing and obviously, get some privacy: lose facerbook

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by quickgold192 (1014925)

      I honestly do not like Facebook, although I have an account that I'll use about once a month. The problem with not having a Facebook account is the same problem with not eating out: Eating out every meal is expensive and, if you're a decent cook, you usually find the food pretty awful. However, if you work in an environment where everyone eats out every meal, you're pretty much forced to eat out as well unless you want to alienate yourself. Get new friends? In a job where you move every 6 months and your co

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've got some news for you. Even though you're not on Facebook, you're still on Facebook.

      I finally gave up on the idea of internet anonymity a few months ago, realizing that if I didn't take charge of my own PR, someone else would.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Been there, feel your pain.

        I've already had my personal information involuntarily published on the internet...by someone untouchable that knew I couldn't do a damn thing about it.

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by schmidt349 (690948)

      My Facebook profile identifies my religious and political views, my intellectual interests, and past and present occupations. What part of any of that obtains in "shallowness?"

      A computer isn't a trivial toy, even though you can use one to play video games and argue on Slashdot all day. By the same token, Facebook isn't "endless navel gazing" even though you can use it to trumpet your superiority to your fellow man, whether that comes from flashy clothes or smug overgeneralizations like yours. Facebook is a

    • lose facebook. you're life will improve

      I made the decision to drop off Facebook on February 17th (nothing special about the date, my brain just remembers little details like that). I had in excess of 200 family, friends, and acquaintances, about 125 of which updated semi-regularly. Facebook's "push" mechanism and its critical mass of people was a very convenient way to keep up with the people I care about. For me, it wasn't a bonfire of vanities or shallow, like you suggest, because keeping up on the lives of friends is interesting and valuab

    • by sweatyboatman (457800) <sweatyboatman@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:55PM (#31642530) Homepage Journal

      I know exactly what you mean! I feel the same way about the telephone!

      Sure you can use it to keep up with friends and family who live far away, but that's what letters are for. If you have real friends, they wont need this contrivance to maintain their friendship with you. And think about all the things you'll be able to talk about as if they were new if they come to visit. Ah the joys of limited connectivity!

      And I mean, talk about annoying! I know that as soon as I install one in my house, it's gonna start ringing, interrupting work, interrupting dinner, interrupting sleep. And nine times out of ten it's going to be someone I don't know trying to sell me something I don't need. And what do you want to bet that the phone company isn't listening in?

      That's why I say,

      lose the telephone, you're (sic) life will improve

    • That's a nice diatribe, wrong, but nice.

      Perhaps what you're describing is how many people use Facebook, and perhaps that's just how you envision all users using Facebook.

      My family uses it somewhat differently. It's an excellent way to share pictures, stay involved with each others lives by sharing highlights (and lowlights) of what's happening, and just generally be social with each other. I also communicate with my brother who is stationed in Iraq. The soccer team my son plays on uses it much the same way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by tommut (123314)
      And the rest of us are patiently waiting for The Onion to write up an Area Man Constantly Mentioning He's Not on Facebook article that we can link to....
    • I agree many people indeed use it as a display of vanity or to attract attention. And you don't need facebook to improve a "friendship" or to stay friends. Some of my best friends are not on facebook, or not connected.

      What I find really useful in facebook is its search function, as it allows you to e.g. reconnect with people who graduated in the same year at the same school/college as you.

      The photo sharing abilities are not all that great (poor resolution, cumbersome interface to restrict visibili
    • +5 Insightful!
  • a bold change that may well unnerve users, at least at first.

    Now give me a moment while I slowly turn up the burner under my stew pot full of live frogs.

  • by bacon volcano (1260566) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @01:38PM (#31640946)
    "I value my privacy. I've been very consistent about that. I've said it on my TV show, my Twitter feed, my Facebook page, my live web Colonoscopy cam."

    - Stephen Colbert

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/267560/march-17-2010/united-states-census-2010 [colbertnation.com]
  • I use Facebook because a number of my friends do, but I did not use real information when signing up. My birthday, address, etc are not correct. My birthday is close, the city is different as is the zip code. Birth date and zip code are 2 of the primary ways credit card companies use to verify you when calling in (plus your SSN, which I give to no one). FB does not need this information and I do not provide it to anyone I don't have to. It's not paranoia, it's prudence.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Certain data like name, address, and date of birth are often public records that can be mined by anyone who's willing to look for it. Check the site http://www.lookupanyone.com/ for instance, you just might find yourself and your family members and friends in there (I actually found that site by googling my full name). They say they use sources like "courthouses, county and other government offices". Apparently the government's privacy policy is a lot worse than that of Facebook.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What fucking pisses me off is I do that and yet I have one _ex_ friend who is dumb enough to go posting all over Facebook wherever that stuff comes up with "corrections". Fucking idiot. No matter how often I told her there was a reason I'd put incorrect information in there she kept doing it. Deleted that moron from the friends list and also from the phonebook, and my life.

      You may think you're doing a good job of being private, but I bet everybody on here has at least one friend who has loaded up their Goog

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Can I say that you are a fool?

      Who are your friends? That is now known.
      Topics? Any you discuss are known.
      How long do you spend on line on facebook? Now known.
      When are you on holidays? Easy to extrapolate. Calculate your average logon frequency. When it changes noticeably, the system could predict you're away. The system could then use your IP address and other information to calculate where you live.

      For f*** sake. Are people this stupid? You think it's about birth dates?

      AC
      PS For those saying "yeah,

  • To be honest I don't care about the info I have on FB. All they have is my name, an incorrect birth date, a low resolution indication of my general location, and a list of people that I am linked with in some way. Nothing of much value to any third party that I can think of.

    What does bother me though is the idea of someone passing on my information (whether I care about the information or not) for profit. I I'm to be hored out to the world I'll do the horing and have the profit thankyouverymuch. If someone

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