Discussion in 'privacy general' started by ronjor, May 14, 2012.
People just need to face the reality that a service like Facebook can only offer so much privacy before the service becomes rather pointless. Again, if you're worried about where your data goes and what is done with it, steer clear of such services. I'm very critical of both Facebook and Google, however, they've both stated time and again that they are built on data. Either that needs to be accepted or one needs to find alternatives/stay away.
This is true, however, Facebook (and Google) are a long way from this point that you speak of. For instance Facebook could still make a profit if they:
Stopped tracking Facebook users against their will, outside of the FB ecosystem, through cookies, web bugs, widgets, and other dishonest methods
Delete all FB cookies when a user logs off
Overtly state that they will not disclose your identity to third party advertisers/trackers, and that they will never sell your personal information in a non-anonymized format, or transfer it due to buyout or bankruptcy
Facebook could still, transparently track users within the FB ecosystem/domain, track users through the "like button" transparently, and offer advertisers targeted advertising without disclosing the real IDs of those being targeted.
Realistically, FB will not do this as its counter to their bottom line, and business ethic (or lack-there-of).
These companies could profit off of our data in a responsible and ethical manner if they chose to. Google, in my opinion, tries to find this balance, but often sacrifices privacy/control for greater integration/fluidity/PROFIT.
Alternatives to Google:
Google Search: DuckDuckGo or Startpage
Gmail: Hushmail, Vmail, your own mailserver, etc
Google Chrome: Firefox, Ironware, Comodo Dragon
Edit: if you like Google's particular search results use startpage (which provides google results anonymously), if this doesn't do it for you, use Google SSL search combined with the "trackmenot" extension which obfuscates your real searches through fake searches based on a few different RSS feeds.
Alternatives to FB:
This is not so easy, a social network is useful and valuable due to the number of users it has. You can't just go out and pick an alternative social network if none of your friends/colleagues use that network.
Diaspora is one alternative which is gaining momentum and is based around openness, transparency, and privacy to an extent. Other alternatives like Priv.Ly are trying to build services which will allow you to protect your data within FB and allow it to work across multiple social networks.
In regards to the article,
It seems like a typical response from Facebook. They payed lots of lip service to privacy, admitted some of their shortcomings, without really explaining how they leverage your data, and the control they actually have over it, or setting any limits as to how they can use your data.