After some articles are put to bed at FilterBlogs they get a Posthumous Longtail Aperitif (PLA); links to related articles published after my original post
PLA - I've updated this 'How To': Friday, April 23, 2010 Facebook's "Instant Personalization" aggregates User Data to Producers and Marketers. Facebook has changed they're privacy settings again, again to keep up with the links Twitter and other social networks are creating that are getting hits in search.
"Marketing companies are data mining with these applications to create maps of you, your family, your friends families and their friends families friends - a data base of their incomes, likes, dislikes, political and sexual, dispositions - all aimed at selling you stuff (or as I like to say, giving you garbage in exchange for the great legacy of your fore-bearers)."This article is a follow-up to a rant I published, "Facebook's Privacy Settings Very Un'friend'ly" which was about how facebook makes it really hard to figure out what going on around there.
This piece - takes you along on my journey of discovery - with screen shots - on how to set every settable parameter that effects your privacy on facebook.
Wired Magazine has a good post by Ryan Singel about how facebooks new privacy tutorial pop-up page is designed to keep your information flowing freely around the internet.
TechCrunch also has a good post by Jason Kincaid.
Knowledge is power; here is some.
(all screen shots enlarge - for a better view, right click ---> open in new tab.)
In the article I wrote two days ago about facebooks privacy settings I said that,
"with all the talk about the new privacy settings page - forced on facebook in part by the Canadian Privacy Commissioners dictate of July 2009 - I went back to facebook in order to block that application..."
Well, I blocked Tom Wait's Magic Trunk's access to my data. But it was not in the "Applications Settings" page where I looked a couple of days ago - instead it was 'hiding' in the right hand sidebar element labelled "Requests". I clicked "see all" and facebook opened a new page, the pending requests page. The page doesn't actually have a title, which is common in facebook, its address in the address bar ends: "../reqs.php".
Some months earlier I accepted a friends request to try the application, but strangely the pending request was still in the list. So today I clicked it, and then went to my "Application Settings" page, and there it was - so I blocked it - as you can see in the screen shot below.
The information the application had already accessed (and to which I had agreed to); is already out there on the internet, there's no way to put it 'back in the bottle'.
This is the facebook "Application Settings" page.
As you can see, I've blocked the Tom Waits application (after the horse has left the barn).
I am a journalist and have been acting that way from the first time I posted an entry to a blog six years ago, as such I use my real name. Lately I've actually been trying to give Google more of my information, to see where this 'recommended for you' thing is going. As well, I would rather know what Google knows about me rather than wonder about it. I want to be completely transparent because if I find myself in court one day, I'll have a record of the same information about my internet use as anyone else on earth could possibly have. That evens the playing field if a prosecutor (persecutor) tried to spin my data against me - I could counter spin it, back to the truth.
The fact of the matter is, if you've been using the same computer *alone* for a period of time, the google link-cloud has a 'fingerprint' of your search behaviour - even if you switch computers or use a mirror site (and thus show a different IP address) - Google Search will recognize that it's you very quickly. You can't hide (except in a crowd of users).
Facebook, and all other social networking applications work better the more people use them and, they become a better experience for the user the more data that users add.
What I'm going to show you next about the privacy settings in facebook therefore, facebook doesn't want you to know. Seemingly your clear knowledge of how facebook works is bad for the application, and bad for business.
I think not.
This next page is my "Profile Page"with all settings in extreme privacy mode. All the settings I could - with the "Customize"option beside each category on the "Privacy Settings" page - set to "Only Me". This took me about 50 clicks, and about 10 minutes work once I figured it out.
Below is a preview facebook showed me, with everything set to "Only Me". The way it "looks to most people on facebook". The 'required' settings left only 5 categories viewable by "Only My Friends".
(Notice this nice ads in the side bar that annoy me to no end.)
Next is the "Privacy Settings Contact Information" page. This is the page where I did all the clicking in the "Customize" options window - to change the settings from "Everyone" to, "Only Me". The screen shot shows the "Customize" pop-up window open, I've just adjusted the "Hometown" category to "Only Me" - working my way down the list on the left.
The last page you should know about is a settings page called "Application and Websites" that allows you to determine "what information your friends can share about you through application and websites". In the screen shot all are set to wide open. Everyone who I've labelled a 'friend' can access all my info when playing those games or taking those quizzes.
Marketing companies are data mining with these applications to create maps of you, your family, your friends families and their friends families friends - a data base of their incomes, likes, dislikes, political and sexual, dispositions - all aimed at selling you stuff (or as I like to say, giving you garbage in exchange for the great legacy of your fore-bearers).
Which reminds me, I got to go back to facebook and un-check some elements!