Love Facebook but concerned about your privacy?
Facebook is becoming known for making sudden changes to its website and later facing heat from its users. This time around, Facebook has announced new features designed to unlock more of the data accumulated about its users during its six-year history and is now sharing personal profile information with third parties, without consent.
For now, it’s just a few web sites, such as the music site Pandora, and the consumer review site, Yelp. Among other things, Facebook is using apps to connect with other websites so people can communicate their interests with friends, colleagues and acquaintances online. In addition, Facebook also adjusted its own website to create more pages where users’ biographical information could be exposed to a wider audience.
So if you don’t want to share, you have to opt out to prevent your information from appearing.
How to do it?
Opting out of Facebook’s new profile sharing is a multiple step process:
STEP 1: Go to the “Privacy Settings.” Go to “Applications and Web Sites.” Then go to “Instant Personalization Pilot Program,” and select edit settings.
STEP 2: For all users there’s an automatic check in the box below, which allows Facebook to share your information with other web sites. You are automatically “opted in.” If you do not wish to share this information, uncheck the box.
STEP 3: Even after you’ve done this, it is not clear whether you need to “opt out” at the sites where Facebook is intending to share your information, like Pandora and Yelp, and soon many more sites. You need to look at the upper left hand corner of those sites to see whether those sites are recognizing your Facebook account and activity. Once again, you need to opt out.
But a word of caution, as Facebook concedes, your information may still be shared through your friends’ accounts, unless you block the application from these web sites. In an apparent response to U.S. Congressional pressure, Facebook has already made some changes to this “Instant Personalization Pilot Program,” so you may want to check back in once in a while to monitor your settings.
At the end of the day, Facebook is a business and their quickest route to revenue is through selling user information.
While historically, Facebook users have remained loyal regardless of changes made to the social network, the time may now have come to decide whether you want to allow social networks to reveal your private details in public forums.
So, what do you think..? Do you care if Facebook or other social media outlets share your information..?