Facebook Privacy Policy — Nothing Private About It

When browsing around the facebook, I noticed that the section where it talks about their privacy policy is not called a ‘privacy policy’, but rather a ‘data use policy’. Apparently, there is nothing private about facebook.

As we have all come to know, once you create a facebook account, facebook owns you and all of the information you choose to post. Or that someone posts about you without first asking you. Or any other information they receive about us, just in general. These are seriously some of the categories that the ‘data use policy’ describes as being information that facebook now has about you. It also mentions your IP address, GPS location, and pages that you may search for or look at as information that facebook holds.

From watching a lot of SVU and NCIS, I know that it is pretty easy for a person to be found via their computer’s IP address and what websites they surfed. But to see it in writing that facebook has my IP address and GPS location, pretty much at all times since I access facebook on my phone quite often, is a little unnerving.

The data use policy also mentions that once you make your information public, anyone can see it, even non-facebook users. The terms of this policy also say, repeatedly, that if you don’t like their terms, you should delete your facebook. I think this is where facebook really has the majority of users in a chokehold: users want to see what their friends are doing and have their friends be able to see what they’re doing, and this desire outweighs the privacy issue. Therefore, while many people may complain about facebook’s lack of privacy, most of us aren’t willing to do anything about it. This is how the creep line keeps getting pushed further and further back.

Since information posted on facebook is public, there are a multitude of ways this can be used for good (such as Really Gets Me), but there are also an equal number of ways that it can be potentially harmful to the users. If you or your friends post pictures of you out partying when you called in sick to work and your boss happens to see it, you might be in some trouble. If your friend tags you playing putt-putt with your other friend’s boyfriend and the other friend sees it, you might be in some trouble. You see where this is heading.

As we can see from reading facebook’s data use policy, there isn’t really anything too private about facebook. As Jen found, facebook may not be selling all of this information (yet), but it is definitely accumulating all of our data. Maybe they are planning a mass digital attack on America, or maybe they just truly would rather keep our information to themselves, but either way, I think users could use a little more discretion in their posting, because we never know what the true motives behind facebook’s data use policy are, or how our public facebook information could turn on us in one way or another.