Today I opened my Facebook which I use actively since yesterday. When g0ing to my settings, the system informed me about changed privacy settings. What it then recommended was ridiculous: All my very tight settings should be opened up. Instead of sharing information only with my friends, the system suggested that I should share a lot of information with everyone and other, sometimes sensitive information (religion, political opinions) with friends of my friends. I had to manually change back everything to "old settings" which at least was an option I could use. However, from my perspective it is fully inacceptable from a privacy perspective to suggest such changes. If someone has opted for tight settings, this approach just shows that Facebook still hasn't understood anything.
Besides this, the options for managing "authorizations" or privacy settings, e.g. controlling who is allowed to see what are primitive. I can share everything with my friends. But in many cases I want to share some informati0n only with some of my friends. I can use lists, but I for example can't use these lists as sort of "groups for ACLs (Access Control Lists)". At list I didn't manage to find out how until now. But given that I have friends from business and from my private life, it is very obvious that I won't share everything with everyone, isn't it?
Again, like pointed out here and here, there is no reason not to construct social networks secure and with strong privacy settings. For sure it is hard to do it afterwards, once you have a bad security architecture in place. But technically seen, it is feasible - and it is relatively easy. But it requires understanding the needs for privacy (which become an inhibitor to the market for Facebook at least in some countries these days) - and you have to do that.
Why am I using Facebook anyway? Too many people are using it and many said that it is a better way to stay in touch with contacts than the other social networks like Xing or LinkedIn. And, by the way: These other networks are as well not the godfathers or inventors of privacy... I don't expect Facebook to ever understand privacy and act accordingly. Thus I'll keep an eye on what I publish there and what I don't publish and I'll keep my privacy settings very rigid. For sure I could use more than one Facebook account. But that would be harder to manage and a pain for the ones which are "friends" in private and business life.
Just a side note: Interestingly many startups have significant lacks in their overall software architecture and struggle with things like scalability and adding new features. And even more struggle with increasing security requirements. One reason is the missing understanding for security (see link above). The other is that many startups have CTOs which are pretty inexperienced - interestingly the ones where the founders (and amongst them the CTO) is doing a startup the second or third time perform much better because they have learned many lessons before. There are - like always - exceptions from that rule, e.g. startups with young CTOs doing a very good job. But these are the exceptions. You could bet on what my rating for Facebook is from that perspective...
By the way: If anyone knows how to control all access to the content in Facebook based on my lists of friends, let me know...
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