Facebook’s Privacy Settings Being Compromised Due to Lack of Consistency
Former Marketing Director of Facebook Outraged Over Pictures Available for Public View
Randi Zuckerberg, former marketing director and sister of Facebook’s co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO), recently discovered that, she too, cannot be protected from Facebook’s privacy settings.
Just like many of the Facebook social networkers, a family snap to Facebook this Christmas was posted by Randi. Like many of the snapshots that we post on Facebook, the pictures were very funny in nature, however, may have been considered both a little too blunt and straightforward. These may not be the pictures you would want all of your 1,000+ Facebook friends to view; these would be considered for sharing with your family and ‘selected friends’ – which incorporates the using of privacy settings. Although the humor in the pictures may resemble our daily humorous snapshots, our snapshots would not encompass background images of a billionaire brother.
With the discovery that the snapshots were available for other Facebook subscribers to view, Randi was livid. Once Facebook subscribers noticed the postings, they continued to share the pictures on other social networking sites such as Twitter. Just like she was furious for the Facebook sharing, Randi was equally angry with the additional postings on Twitter. Because of this known outrage, the specific picture Randi was referencing became broadly circulated. What irony – the most rich and famous don’t even have a strong hold to the social media privacy.
If the brother’s billion-dollar-strong network cannot even protect the immediate family’s privacy settings, how can we expect it to protect the other worldwide social network Users?
The picture that has Randi in an uproar depicts four (4) individuals hanging around in a kitchen looking down at their cellphones: they all have their mouths wide-open with Mark Zuckerberg in the background.
A web designer depicts a few infographics (listed below) showing the satire of social media privacy.
- Privacy Fail 1 – Facebook resets their privacy settings without warning – who was able to see my personal information before I noticed?
- Privacy Fail 2 – Manually setting privacy to “friends only” mode – doesn’t that mean that everyone can still view my information?
- Privacy Fail 3 – Facebook caught giving information to online giants – what happened to the ‘we do not share your information with advertisers without your consent” statement?
- Future Fail – Users must be at least 13 years old to have a FB account – how did we get to 5 million of the billion Users being under age? – This picture also shows Mark Zuckerberg in the foreground saying ‘My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.’ Yet we also see the COPPA logo- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
- Timeline Fail – Forever changing…….Turned on, but never turned off
- Initial Public Offering (IPO) Failure – May 2012, Facebook stock available at $38.00 share – September 2012, Facebook stock available at $18.00 per share. 47% of Facebook value…. Gone.
Randi has posted on Twitter, the following message “Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings; it’s about human decency,”
After Randi posted her comments, many Twitter followers responded stating that being etiquette is not the main issue. The issue is that Facebook constantly changes the privacy settings and the settings are not consistent and are somewhat confusing. Because so many Users are on Facebook daily, sometimes hourly, they are more susceptible in making a mistake or error that could potentially compromise their privacy settings.
Since the incident, the Tweets have been deleted.
Eva Galperin, from a San Francisco based privacy setting group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, stated “The thing that bugged me about Randi Zuckerberg’s response is that she used her name as a bludgeoning device. Not everyone has that. She used her position to get it taken it down. She also said, “Even Randi Zuckerberg can get it wrong. That’s an illustration of how confusing they can be.”
Another concern over privacy settings is that although you can share your information with certain people via the privacy setting, nothing is restricting the social network recipient from forwarding it to another User.
Facebook also owns a photo-sharing service known as Instagram. Earlier this year, Instagram posted a new ‘terms of service’ advising social networkers that if they posted pictures, those pictures could potentially be used for advertisements. Due to the backlash and public concern they received, Instagram has since removed that statement.
In Mid-December, Facebook started taking additional precautions and steps to speak on these privacy issues. Facebook has since posted a privacy dashboard titled written in the plainest English possible.
These changes will include a shortcut to the privacy settings that will have another feature titled “who can view my settings?” These updates will be accessible to Facebook’s billion of Users during the 1st quarter of 2013.