Facebook's Eerie Goal: Why Timeline Changes Everything For those out of the loop, Facebook just introduced the Timeline at its recent F8 Conference. Besides the obvious changes in aesthetics thanks to the Sofa acquisition, Timeline alters everything from the purpose of the Facebook profile, to the way Facebook is pushing users to rethink their own privacy. TechCrunch recently published an article about Why The Timeline Changes Nothing. What’s Changed: Enter Timeline: Your Facebook profile is now a landing page, quickly displaying what’s important in a way that compromises About.me‘s purpose. Timeline also marks a change in the way Facebook rolls out redesigns. An Eerie Goal? The most important change, in my opinion, is how Timeline is a major step towards Zuckerburg’s vision: highly public information. For older users, information that was previously buried in the past is now easily accessible and stalker friendly. Now babies, born with a Facebook account, have a life-long timeline of every major event that happened throughout their lives.
It’s the end of the web as we know it « Adrian Short 25 September 2011 When you own a domain you’re a first class citizen of the web. A householder and landowner. What you can do on your own website is only very broadly constrained by law and convention. You can post the content you like. You can run the software you want, including software you’ve written or customised yourself. If you use a paid-for web service at someone else’s domain you’re a tenant. When you use a free web service you’re the underclass. The conclusion here should be obvious: if you really care about your site you need to run it on your own domain. But it’s no longer that simple. Anyone who’s ever run a website knows that building the site is one thing, getting people to use it is quite another. Traffic used to come from three places: the real world (print advertising, business cards, word of mouth, etc.), search engines and inbound links. Social networks have changed all that. Not so long ago you had to be on MySpace if you were an up-and-coming band.
Facebook tracks what you do online, even when you’re logged out Updated 10pm Pacific with comments from Facebook. Entrepreneur and hacker Nik Cubrilovic reports that Facebook can track the web pages you visit even when you are logged out of Facebook. According to Cubrilovic’s tests, Facebook merely alters its tracking cookies when you log out, rather than deleting them. Your account information and other unique identifiable tokens are still present in these cookies, which means that any time you visit a web page with a Facebook button or widget, your browser is still sending personally identifiable information back to Facebook. “With my browser logged out of Facebook, whenever I visit any page with a Facebook like button, or share button, or any other widget, the information, including my account ID, is still being sent to Facebook,” Cubrilovic wrote. “They definitely have the information stored,” Cubrilovic told VentureBeat in an interview today. Cubrilovic’s claims are based on his analysis of HTTP headers sent by browsers to Facebook.com.
Nik Cubrilovic Blog - Logging out of Facebook is not enough Important Update: Facebook has responded and issued a fix for this issue. See the follow up blog post "Facebook Fixes Logout Issue, Explains Cookies" Dave Winer wrote a timely piece this morning about how Facebook is scaring him since the new API allows applications to post status items to your Facebook timeline without a users intervention. It is an extension of Facebook Instant and they call it frictionless sharing. The advice is to log out of Facebook. Here is what is happening, as viewed by the HTTP headers on requests to facebook.com. Note: I have both fudged the values of each cookie and added line wraps for legibility Cookie: datr=tdnZTOt21HOTpRkRzS-6tjKP; lu=ggIZeheqTLbjoZ5Wgg; openid_p=101045999; c_user=500011111; sct=1316000000; xs=2%3A99105e8977f92ec58696cf73dd4a32f7; act=1311234574586%2F0 The request to the logout function will then see this response from the server, which is attempting to unset the following cookies: An Experiment The Rise of Privacy Awareness
Gov't may track all UK Facebook traffic | Security Threats The UK government is considering the mass surveillance and retention of all user communications on social-networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo. Home Office security minister Vernon Coaker said on Monday that the EU Data Retention Directive, under which ISPs must store communications data for 12 months, does not go far enough. Communications such as those on social networking sites and instant messaging could also be monitored, he said. "Social-networking sites, such as MySpace or Bebo, are not covered by the directive," said Coaker, speaking at a meeting of the House of Commons Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee. Under the EU Data Retention Directive, from the 15 March, 2009, all UK internet service providers (ISPs) are required to store customer traffic data for a year. The UK government has previously said that communications interception was "vital", and has hinted that social-networking sites may be put under surveillance.
Germany: Facebook Like button violates privacy laws Facebook's Like button today was found in violation of Germany's strict privacy laws. Commissioner Thilo Weichert, who works for the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ULD) in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, said the social network’s plugin, which allows Internet users to express their appreciation of something online, illegally puts together a profile of their Web habits. The ULD said if you visit Facebook.com or use a Facebook plugin such as the Like button, you should expect to be tracked by the company for two years: Facebook allegedly builds a broad profile for individuals not on the service as well as a more personalized profile of its members. Traffic and content data are transferred to Facebook's servers in the US and an analysis is sent back to the website owner concerning the usage. The ULD believes such profiling infringes German and European data protection law. Facebook of course disagrees with Weichert's claims. See also:
Wirklich? Germany declares Facebook ‘Like’ button illegal The German government on Friday declared the Facebook “Like” button, which appears on countless websites accessible all over the world, in violation of the country’s strict privacy rights — and thus illegal. An official from the German state of Schleswig-Holstein’s data protection center, Thilo Weichert, said the privacy violation stems from the Like button’s ability to track a person’s movement across the web, according to a report by The Local. In addition to violating German laws, Weichert claims the Facebook Like button also breaks European Union data protection laws. However, Facebook has rejected those claims and said any data that’s stored (like web activity from a unique IP address) is deleted after the industry standard 90-days, according to the report. VentureBeat has contacted the company for further comment. Websites in Schleswig-Holstein must remove Facebook Like buttons by September 30.
Facebook tracking is under scrutiny In recent weeks, Facebook has been wrangling with the Federal Trade Commission over whether the social media website is violating users' privacy by making public too much of their personal information. Far more quietly, another debate is brewing over a different side of online privacy: what Facebook is learning about those who visit its website. Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant has been able to create a running log of the web pages that each of its 800 million or so members has visited during the previous 90 days. STORY: Facebook targeted with porn, violent images To do this, the company relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry, says Arturo Bejar, Facebook's engineering director. For online business and social media sites, such information can be particularly valuable in helping them tailor online ads to specific visitors.
quirksintech Mark Zuckerberg runs a giant spy machine in Palo Alto, California. He wasn’t the first to build one, but his was the best, and every day hundreds of thousands of peopl eupload the most intimate details of their lives to the Internet. The real coup wasn’t hoodwinking the public into revealing their thoughts, closest associates, and exact geographic coordinates at any given time. Rather, it was getting the public to volunteer that information. Then he turned off the privacy settings. If the state had organized such an informationd rive, protestors would have burned down the White House. – Marc Ambinder and D.B.