By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm
In the wake of ongoing controversy (some of it intense) over Facebook’s privacy policies, I’m overdue to return to the topic. (One-sentence summary of my take: Facebook has a history of asking for forgiveness rather than permission, and now says the default for everything is “social”–so the best way to keep things private is to keep them off the service, period.)
For now, here are a couple of worthwhile reads:
The New York Times got Facebook VP for Public Policy Elliot Schrage to respond to a bunch of reader questions. Schrage prefaces his answers with a humble, apologetic overview, but most of the specific answers seem to boil down to two somewhat testy points: 1) everybody has the option not to use Facebook, and/or 2) the question mischaracterizes Facebook positions or practices. My main takeaway: Facebook needs to do a heck of a better job at explaining what it does with our information, and how we can exert control over it. Schrage’s comments do give me some hope that the company gets that.
Eric Eldon of Inside Facebook has a clarifying, level-headed walkthrough of what Facebook’s recent changes (and a security glitch or two) mean for privacy on the service. It’s an exceptionally long post, but there’s so much to talk about that it’s hard to do it justice in a few hundred words.
And how are you feeling about Facebook these days?