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Privacy on Facebook? Good Luck With That… The Geek Girl Report

English106, Flickr

Internet privacy is a really hot topic right now, particularly when you’re talking about the social networking giant Facebook. From employers demanding employee’s log-in information, to mobile apps that use the information you provide to track you down, there are a lot of issues with Facebook and privacy.

For example, take a look at Facebook’s apps, the little games, quizzes, fun little diversion that Facebook offers “free of charge.” You don’t pay for these apps with money, you pay with something else: your personal information. We know how it works. We’ve all seen our friends play Farmville/Mafia Wars/whatever Facebook game is popular right now, and we want to play too because if looks fun. So, we go out and get the app for ourselves. We’ve all seen the silly quizzes our friends take, and we want to take them too. So, we get the quiz app, take it once and never use it again. But just what are you letting these apps get a hold of?

Most all of these apps require access to the basic information on your profile, like your E-mail address, your current location, and other such things. They also require access to your friends profiles, so they can get the same information from your friends. But that’s just the start of it. A lot of these apps can also access your photos, videos, family and relationship info, personal info, and everything else you post on Facebook. Some of them can even access all of this information even when you’re not logged in. But most of the time, you don’t even know they’re getting this information until you go into your privacy settings and look for yourself.

(Speaking of those privacy settings, have you ever tried to navigate through them? You’d have a better chance of finding a needle in a haystack than you would trying to figure out how to make your posts private.)

All that being said, I’ll have to say privacy doesn’t exist on Facebook. Even if your account is only visible to your friends, there’s still apps that are taking your information when you’re not aware of it, and selling it off to advertisers, app makers and the like. As a matter of fact, “internet privacy” as a whole is becoming something of an oxymoron. I’ve often said that anything you post on the Internet is out in the open and fair game for anyone. So, does privacy really exist on the Internet anymore? Probably not, and definitely not on Facebook.

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