A few days ago, I received a wall post from the Facebook blog, that they have teamed up with Google Real Time Search. I did a little research on what that truly meant and found this post here on the official Google blog.

In a nutshell, this is what is happening. Google is getting posts and status updates from many networking sites and allowing them to be shown in the search results. How are they gonna do that? I got my answer within a few days.

Facebook had a change in their privacy settings. The time that you log into facebook, you will be notified of the privacy settings page and would suggest you that you change your settings to their recommended one – one that is seen by practically everyone.

Now, I am no privacy freak. Far from that. What I am concerned about is that by allowing your profile to be shown to all, a person will risk being used or taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals in the net.

I’ve had my cellphone number been sent text messages by people I do not know about some nice deal which was clearly a scam. I’ve had a rise in spam messages when I placed my email in a post or comment in a blog.

Having said that, I strongly agree with Bruce Schneier, a well known computer security specialist, that:

For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.

in his blog as a rebuttal to Eric Schmitt, CEO of Google, who said a dangerous statement to Maria Bartiromo during CNBC’s big Google special, that “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

Think about it. You don’t hide things from people you don’t know because you did something bad. It is more likely that you hide things from people you are not likely to trust because they would like to do bad things to you.

3 thoughts on “Google, Facebook, Twitter and Privacy”
  1. Yes, that is to be expected. However, there should be limits to what social network sites lets out publicly. For example email addresses. Some unscrupulous people hide behind sending email claiming him/her to be this person needing help or donations – that happened to my actor friend (you should know him well 🙂 ).

  2. You’re absolutely right, Clint.

    Suppose I have 2 little girls. I may post pictures of my children on Facebook and tag the location of where the images were taken. In the photos, you can see the girls playing soccer at a local field on a Saturday afternoon. Nothing wrong going on there. However, if those pics are not private and shared only to people I trust, then a bad person can use the pics and location patterns to stalk or — God forbid — abduct them. These unsavory people could be kidnappers, child pornographers, human traffickers, or molesters. Both the kids and myself are not doing anything wrong or illegal or nefarious in any way. But in this scenario, a lack of proper privacy opens me and my hypothetical family to attack. This is why proper privacy must be defended.

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