Sunday, April 1, 2012

What the new Facebook Privacy Rules Mean

As many of you know my main purpose with this blog is to try and explain a lot of things in ways that are more understandable to the non techie.  Today I want to talk a bit about Facebooks new position on Privacy which will take effect June 1st 2012. 

Facebook, like many other social type companies have always had to deal with privacy issues.  A lot of times people don't read their privacy options correctly and they feel that facebook is trying to invade their privacy or helping others do the same.  

The new Online Privacy Banishment Act (OPBA)  President Obama signed on March 2012 brings a great relief for these social media companies.  The act states that Social media is social and that any privacy should be controlled by the user and not the company.  So what exactly does this mean?  It basically means that if you post information on the internet using a social media site, this information is considered public information.  Not only will all your friends be able to see the picture or comment you posted, but anyone using the social media site and it will also be available to show up on web search engines like Google.  

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, has applauded the OPBA.  In a recent interview he stated that "the main idea of Facebook was always to be a public place for people to meet and share experiences and make new friends, not be the closed clubs it currently has become".  

The OPBA does not mean that all social networks will be making this change, a spokesperson for Google has already said "One of the main points of Google + is our circles and we plan to keep that idea going".  But Facebook is certainly embracing the idea that if you posted it, then it must be public knowledge.  This should also help them with the problem they were having where a lot of employers were asking perspective employee's for their Facebook credentials so they could check what the person has been up to.  

When President Obama was asked about the OPBA he responded:

"It's simple, if you don't want the whole world knowing about it, then don't post it, if you just want to share it with a few friends, email it to them, no need to be posting it in a social networking site"

What do you think about OPBA?  Is this a good thing?  Or are more of our rights being taken away? 

Javier Torres

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