How Private is Private?

I find it fascinating that the more I learn about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, the more I realize how little I know. I mean, who thinks about the privacy issues on a social site like Facebook? They have options to block your account so no one but your friends can see your pictures or the things that you post, and you think you are safe. However, a classmate in my Web 2.0 class posted a story about a woman whose personal family photo that was posted on Facebook, was used for an advertisement in the Czech Republic. How scary is that!!??

I wanted to keep in touch with my friends from school so we started a blog (or two) together. Well, that crashed and burned, so now I find that in order to keep in touch, I need a Facebook account. Funny how those sites draw you in. I selected all of the privacy measures that I could blocking everyone I do not know from seeing my information, posts, pictures, etc. Yet for some reason I never thought about Facebook seeing my posts, pictures etc. Who actually has access to my photos, and information? What can they do with it? These are questions that I never thought of before.

I once got an email warning that people could get copies of my drivers license on a site on the Internet. The email came with a link claiming to contain the tools to remove the license from the site. The link brings the viewer to a license with the viewer’s name and a picture of a monkey in the ID slot, the rest of the license is filled out with further silly information (address: banana place). The site then offers the viewer the chance to “trick other friends by sending them this link.” I didn’t find it so funny, I thought the idea to be scary and the “joke” to be an indication of the problem at it’s core. People see this stuff as amusing and ridiculous but don’t understand that it’s a real concern. Hackers can and do commit Identity theft on line. Information that we so freely put out onto the Internet is accessible to anyone who knows how to get at it.


One comment

  1. Your blog looks great. I had a similar experience. The blog my sisters and had also “crashed and burned”. Facebook is definitely the easiest and best way to stay in touch across the miles. But you are right, you never know you may be able to access your information. That’s why I hesitate to sign up.


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