CBC News informed us today that more than 27,000 people have pledged to Quit Facebook. These people are concerned about how Facebook manages their personal data.
I thought I had all my privacy settings adjusted such that my personal data could only be viewed by my friends. Then, Facebook initiated Community Pages, and all of a sudden all my profile information was linked to pages that I hadn’t authorized. Sure, I like watching NCIS, and I had put that in my profile. But now I was getting updates about the NCIS TV show arriving on my home page. Of more concern, had I become one of the almost 3 million people whose face would appear as a fan on NCIS Facebook? I would hope not, but I still didn’t want my home page filling up with unsolicitated reports – I get enough stuff from my friends. So I did the most logical thing I could think of. I erased everything from my profile page.
It was like spring housecleaning, but a lot easier. Is the information gone for good? Probably not. Information in cyberspace is sort of like dust. You can clean dust out of a room with your duster or vacuum, but you haven’t destroyed it. You have just put it somewhere else. Information that you upload onto the internet is much the same. You can erase it from one place, but there is a good possibility that a copy of it exists in another place.
The lesson here is – if you use the internet at all, do not expect privacy. Express yourself accordingly.