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Why Facebook Won't Stop Invading Your Privacy 219

GMGruman writes "Every few weeks, it seems, Facebook is caught again violating users' privacy. A code error there, rogue business partners there. The truth, as InfoWorld's Bill Snyder explains, is that Facebook will keep on violating your privacy, no matter what its policies say, what promises it makes, or how shocked it claims to be at the latest incident. The reason is simple: Selling personal information on its users is how it makes money, and Facebook is above all a business."
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Why Facebook Won't Stop Invading Your Privacy

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  • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:09PM (#33974710)

    Really successful businesses are able to make you pay for the service, PLUS sell your data (or eyeballs). See the publishing industry (up until about 1999) and television.

    You're correct, but the problem with Facebook is that it needs you to share lots of information in order for them to sell it to others. It's well known that opt-in services, whilst being great for consumer privacy, typically have a lousy take-up rate. I'm amazed at the number of people who have completely open profiles, probably because they didn't know that they were like that.

    Therefore it is in Facebook's interest (and their bottom line) to ensure that you have to opt-out and preferably in a way which is convoluted enough to make you not bother but not so convoluted that they're accused of being evil*.

    Their goal of helping your connect with friends has long gone as the functionality available today is more than adequate for that purpose. All new features added in the last year or two are solely geared around you sharing more information that can be sold.

    (* with the exception of Facebook Places, which they've blatantly decided that you cannot block check-ins from your friend stream without completely blocking the friend - presumably in the hope that you'll be persuaded to actually use the service)

  • Re:Well, duh. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Glendale2x ( 210533 ) < minus poet> on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:43PM (#33975236) Homepage

    I can't seem to get it to stick...

    Because, in the end, users do not want privacy. They want their Facebook, Gmail, et al for free, and are unable or unwilling to make the connection that "free" has a non-monetary price to them. These companies know this and will continue to do whatever they can get away with to make the money that keeps it "free" to the audience.

Trap full -- please empty.