Your Facebook Friends Are Watching You—Did We Just Move Closer to 1984? George Orwell’s novel 1984 begins with Winston Smith, the main character, seeing posters saying BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.
In 2010, that could be replaced with FACEBOOK IS WATCHING YOU. Or rather, YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK ARE WATCHING YOU. You and your friends can now post where you are and share this information, if you so chose. Facebook showed off the power of this new location feature at a launch event this week with a giant projection of a U.S. map showing where people were checking in just moments after Places launched.
MG Siegler called it “Facebook’s Awesome Dark Knight-Esque Live Check-In Display.” Facebook only showed people’s first names, but their databases know your last names and so much more about you. Of course, there are many important differences. In a post yesterday, MG said “Places is actually pretty great — potentially”, but he acknowledged “the friend tagging thing is troubling to a lot of people (particularly because of the somewhat confusing three states.)”
How to Disable Facebook Places. Is It ONLY ME? Disabling Facebook Places In Pursuit of Privacy. August 19, 2010 Today is World Humanitarian Day and I definitely needed this inspiring humanitarian video to gain some perspective on humanity.
(fab 4 mins after the jump, and a how-to disable vid on Facebook Places too!) I don’t know why anyone would give a flying fig about my whereabouts, but I DO know I’ve had my own personal safety blogger moments and am frankly unwilling to be bait for someone’s pranks, so color me incredulous when Facebook once again set my default geolocation settings far beyond “Only Me.” Not quite a Beacon privacy breach, but still danged arrogant if you ask me. Yep, I started out my morning of media moments wanting to ‘chuck it all’ and “go off the grid” on a digital hiatus from humanity itself. Everyone already knows I’m a fan of pulling the plug and dialing down the drama intermittently to get mindshare back and to put peer reality shows on summer hiatus but escaping from digital humanity on Humanitarian Day? Is that so much to ask? How to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook Places. Yesterday, Facebook introduced Places, a new location feature that competes with popular services like Foursquare, Google Latitude, Loopt, and Gowalla.
Places allows Facebook users to 'check in' to real world locations and to tag their friends as present (similar to how Facebook allows tagging in photos). Everyone who is checked in to the location can see who else is listed as "Here Now" for a few hours after they check in. Once you are checked in to a location, Places also creates a story in your friends' News Feeds and places a notice in the location's page's Recent Activity section. The product will roll out over the next few days. Like all location products, the new application publishes potentially sensitive information, since a stream of information on location can provide a detailed picture of your life. To its credit, by default, only your Facebook friends can see when you are tagged in a location, unless you opted for the "Everyone" master setting on the privacy controls.
Facebook "Places" Embeds Privacy Risks, Complicated and Ephemeral Opt-Out Unfair to Users.