Thursday, January 27, 2011

Facebook selling users info and opinions

Barbara Ortutay of the Associated Press reports that Facebook users may soon find themselves in advertisements promoting stores they visit using their Facebook login or items/companies they hit the 'like' button on. The good news is the privacy settings you have will carry over on the ads. The bad news is that there is no option for refusing to be in the ads.

Yesterday I was talking about Facebook protecting it's users from a government intent on controlling what they could say and here. It was short lived. Today Facebook is getting ready to use the images, likenesses and names of its users for profit without permission or compensation. If a newspaper or TV station were to do that they would be in big trouble. Actors, politicians and other public figures take people to court for it. But Facebook is above such petty concerns. They aren't a media company, and they don't provide a free service. As I heard a security researcher say, we are not Facebooks customers, we are it's product. That's something we should all remember. You don't pay a product, you get paid for it.