Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Facebook "Lookup your Timeline" with NO option is NOT Okay

The way Facebook sells our data is something that I struggle with. A part of this struggle is how badly they manage our privacy. Users treat Facebook as if the user owns the content as they do with text messages and personal email. Unfortunately, Facebook is different. A couple months ago Facebook changed my privacy settings without my consent, making posts on my timeline public. I found this out by someone I don't know contacting me. I had to go in and re-set my privacy settings to make sure what I do there is private. This was disturbing. Their privacy settings are obtuse and can change without you ever knowing it. 

Their latest privacy change is even more concerning and I think it is a tipping point for me as a user. It is called the removal of the "Who can look up my timeline by name" feature. It opens up everyone's timeline to be searchable. They started notifying me by putting a notice at the top of my News Feed that I chose not to agree to. Today, however, that changed. instead of a warning I can ignore, they put in a modal dialog that only gives you one option. Agree to the removal of this privacy feature or you can no longer access Facebook. 

By being so ham-handed, sadly, I think my relationship with Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild is coming to an end. They block access to your Facebook unless you click on "Okay, I Understand." Frankly, I don't understand and don't think I may be a member for much longer. 

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