Oct 10

404 Privacy Not Found

The curious thing to me about the Facebook apps ‘leaking data’ story is not that’s its happening, but rather the low levels of digital literacy (or the fact that this has been happening for years) by the public:

Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook’s rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure.

The difference in the past was that the cost of acquiring this data was substantial enough to make it not worth the effort.  The amount of data freely available and the decreased cost of computing power make it a trivial effort.  This is only going to become more prevalent as online providers look to monetize the sale of data.  The problem is that data is being used in ways that the average internet user cannot comprehend, and therefore cannot make an informed decision to opt-in or opt-out.

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Jul 10

Less is Less, or More is More?

A friend just asked me:

Why can’t I sort my [Facebook] newsfeed by most recent stories anymore?

It seems that  Facebook is testing out a more simple’ interface:

An extremely small segment of users has been shown alternative version of the Facebook homepage which eliminates the “Most Recent  view from the news feed. Currently the company is soliciting feedback from users about the new version of the feed, however it appears many users aren’t happy. As a search for “news feed most recent  displays below, most of the users seeing the new feed don’t appear to be too happy.

While the test is among a small group of people, Facebook is constantly looking for a way to simplify features on the site. As  Mark Zuckerberg said at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California last night, the more options that you give someone, the more likely they won’t use them. However for those users who are actively using the feature, they tend to be attached to the feature.

It looks like they dropped the “most recent” and kept “top news” for some users.  Unfortunately, the only way I see to get it back is to go to“Friends>Status Pages”.  I have people  separated  into three groups, real friends, friends, and  acquaintances.  If you put your people in lists, you’ll see everything from only those people.  I’ve found it  easiest to do this in “chat”.

Jul 07

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