Facebook Privacy Issues for Canadians!
Sigh….there are some MAJOR concerns that are apparently coming more to the forefront for us canucks and here’s the Canadian skinny on same!
First, Facebook has like millions of Canadian members, it’s estimated that 7 out of 10 online Canadians are members. That’s a lot of us, for starters. Go to google.ca and try “facebook privacy issues in Canada”….and note that there are 135 million hits. Looks like this Facebook foray into publication of personal information has struck a chord for us Canadians, eh! I’d say so and this is somewhat of an interesting issue too…
First, our government has noticed. Yup, the polite, way-behind-the-tech-curve Canuck Privacy Commissioner, has been in this fray now for a few months, and their latest Press Release here, offers up their concerns.
“New complaints highlight dissatisfaction with privacy changes that the popular social networking site has been making in the wake of last summer’s in-depth investigation by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada…”
Course, as noted, there was a “public complaint” made to them about the Facebook privacy issue so that got them into the issue, but a good read of same will show this graph down near the bottom —
“Since then, however, changes to the site’s privacy information, settings and tools have sparked criticism from users who feel that personal information posted to the site is, in some instances, even more exposed now than before. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada will investigate the complaint it has received, while continuing to follow up with Facebook as it introduces new changes to its site. The company committed last August to resolving within a year all of the concerns raised in the first investigation report.”
As noted, that gives our Commissioner (wonder if she wears red, eh?) about another 4 months to come up with a position as well as a solution…hmm…I wonder, eh? But that’s not all of the folks involved in this either….go here to see what has been reported about the “serious gaps” in Facebook’s protection of personal privacy and their violation of Canadian law too!
The EFF (www.eff.com), the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been one of the strongest proponents of personal privacy and offers up their position here on this page….as well as a very simple video on how to opt-out of this publication of personal information in all of the necessary pages to totally disable same…. (so use same, is my advice!)
As well, the EFF offers up this final graph that speaks to the historical track-record of Facebook and it’s relationship with it’s users privacy…
“Viewed together, the successive policies tell a clear story. Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew larger and became more important, it could have chosen to maintain or improve those controls. Instead, it’s slowly but surely helped itself — and its advertising and business partners — to more and more of its users’ information, while limiting the users’ options to control their own information…”
So, what does all this mean to Canadians and our usual position on maintaining personal privacy? Simple really…if you use Facebook then your privacy may be at risk. It’s that simple, eh….and that’s the real thrust of this issue….all of which will come to a head here in Canada in the next 4 months.
We’ll be watching closely (and reporting on same here as well) for news on this, as yup, we too have a Facebook account personally as well as a corporate company account too…like many other canuck businesses.
Facebook? Over to you, lads….Google