I can’t muster much outrage at the latest discovery that social networking sites have been sharing data with advertisers.
Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.
I’ve always realized that any data I give someone else is no longer in my control and could turn up anywhere or used for any purpose whether I like it or not. If I have sensitive data I either encrypt it or don’t let it out of my control or both.
The reality is that there IS NO PRIVACY on the Internet. That’s just a statement of fact.
That said, what these companies (Facebook, etc) are doing is reprehensible. There’s a difference between realizing that your data might be made public at some point and companies actually lying to you about it.
This doesn’t happen by accident. Someone wrote the code that allowed this and they did it on purpose because they could get a higher ad rate by doing it. They also knew it was wrong and the users wouldn’t like it which is why they kept it secret. Fortunately, there is no privacy on the Internet so bad behavior gets exposed eventually.
The sad thing is that now the feds are going to get involved and pass a law that will wind up making things worse.