New Facebook Privacy Violations Add to the Network’s Woes
Common logic dictates that when you have the world’s eyes upon you and the FTC breathing down the back of your neck you do not A. Blatantly violate the personal privacy of your users and B. Sound nonchalant about the implications when you’re caught and have to explain it.
Facebook, of course, has never been strong on common logic, particularly when it comes to the privacy of its membership base which it seems to treat with the casual grace of a chieftain running a fiefdom. Its looming IPO has probably only served to exacerbate matters.
How else can we explain the fact that Facebook was caught red-handed with the ability to read any text message sent over mobiles and tablets which have downloaded its mobile app. Facebook apparently uses this data as research in the process of developing its own SMS-like messaging service. So far, it has only tapped into the texting inboxes of a handful of users, but it has the power to grab any and all texts if it wants to.
Following the publication of the report Facebook commented that the permission to do so is detailed for users when they download the app and a company spokesman said that the testing they have done has included only a handful of accounts and so far the permission has not been used, thought it may well be in future.
Privacy is a hotly debated issue. Companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo require your data in order to create monetization strategies which can include advertising, marketing, targeted services and new products. The complexity governing this arrangement frequently leads to privacy fatigue. Consumers simply get tired of scrolling through several pages of finely printed text or constantly battling with corporations on these issues for the privilege of sending a message to their friends or updating their Facebook status on the go, and give up.Continued on the next page