Does this mean Google is “better” than Facebook. Perhaps marginally. However, the fundamentals are the same: These “free” internet services are offered by for-profit companies. Their purpose is to make money for their stockholders, and they are going to do it one way or another. As I posted in in January:
From Popularity for Purchase:
- signs and symbols did indicate something real – a message from a friend or family member whom you see and care about
- signs and symbols indicate a false reality – the early stages of Facebook, when people would beef up their friend count with casual acquaintances and friends of friends, and use Like and Follow to build up a “social network“
- Signs that are not backed up by any reality. One hires ad hoc workers to write posts for one’s Facebook page, blog, Twitter feed. One appears to be a prolific writer, well versed on news and culture. One’s friends (the real ones!) are impressed, and notice one’s growing social circle. Then one hires other ad hoc Workers to Like, Follow, and Comment on the material written by the first lot. Your Google Analytics look great; you rank high in the search engines because you hired writers who are good at SEO. Many people leave comments on your site
- One day you wake up to find that (a) no one is interacting on your site except your paid workers and (b) the content you paid for was scraped to other sites and is being used by your new paid workers to write new-old material.
The Internet once again confirms Sturgeon’s Revelation.
Facebook has announced that developers of Facebook apps can now gather the personal contact information from their users.
We don’t use the internet anymore: it is using us.
All in all, the Facebook ecosystem could generate $1 billion this year. You think that the Boy Billionaire [Mark Zuckerberg] is going to mess that up by worrying about your privacy? No way. So the privacy breaches will continue, no matter how shocked the company says it is. And anything you do or post on Facebook, regardless of its privacy settings and policies, will be fair game.
The great thing about capitalism is that it gives consumers lots of choices. If you don’t like what Facebook is doing with your data, don’t give it up. Maybe there’s another service to use, or maybe you could simply give your friends — the real ones, that is — a call now and then. If staying on Facebook is important to you, and it certainly has its uses, you’d better face the fact that Zuckerberg’s profits take precedence over your privacy.
…. your personal data.
Via BoingBoing, with the key point:
you may have been compromised even if you yourself didn’t use the apps [FarmVille, Texas HoldEm, FrontierVille, and others] but your friends did.