Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Facebook Flap and Privacy
The flap over Facebook changing its terms for storing user content has raised the question, "Who owns Facebook?" The issue arose when Facebook updated its terms. It added language that said Facebook would retain users’ content and licenses after an account was terminated. But that seems less a revelation to me than the fact people are actually reading Facebook's terms of service. Research shows that people barely skim over the terms of any Web-based service. The erosion of privacy in the digital domain is insidious, with far-reaching consequences. To have users revolt because a few bloggers read the fine print is a sign that something is shifting. People are waking up to the fact that terms of services is worthy of their scrutiny. The next wave will be digital citizens demanding dominion over where information is stored, who sees it, and under what conditions. Is Google next?