I’m sure just about everyone reading this blog has a Facebook page or a MySpace page or a Twitter account or whatever else is out there for social networking. Does anyone find the privacy settings to be utterly confusing and sometimes misleading? I can tell you from my experience that I went through the whole list and marked no notifications and privacy on almost everything and would go back to find out I did something wrong or that my settings were somehow reverted to non-private! Some people believe this is done on purpose for ease of information sharing across the internet. An article on CNN.com talks about how people are getting tired of their information being shared, such as their preferences being used for solicitation purposes. Then again how private is private on the World Wide Web?
With the advantages we receive from technology today come disadvantages as well, you cannot receive all the fun perks and not see some negative aspects as well. Recently I was informed of a site called Spokeo.com (from a Facebook post from a friend no less) that collects information from various sources on the internet and aggregates the data. For a low annual fee you can access all kinds of personal information concerning just about anyone who has used the internet for various purposes. I first thought the main source was social networking type sites so I searched for my fiancé who does not have any type of page on any of those sites. Sure enough, he came up on Spokeo.com and with more information than me! Not only is this scary but it is a violation of our privacy. Then again how can we claim privacy and then post a message to our 245 friends about what we had for breakfast this morning, is this a double edged sword or a real issue? The article from CNN talks about the coming wave of people quitting Facebook and why everyone should. But I think it is a misconception that by deleting your Facebook account you are suddenly safe from information sharing. The article even states that you need to follow this multi-step process to completely remove your information from Facebook, because just deleting your account still allows Facebook to catalog your data such as photos and posts. What do they want with my pictures from my vacation in Cabo anyhow!? Anyway, I think this is just another trend. People are very addicted to social networking and if they aren’t getting their fix on Facebook they will go to Twitter or MySpace or whatever else is out there. You can read more about the Facebook privacy policy here and tell me how you feel about your rights.
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Jennifer Ulrich

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  1. There is enough information out on the news stations and print media that a person should not expect privacy from any electronic media. To expect privacy in this day and age is to be naive. Maybe it's not "to much to expect", but reality sucks sometimes.