1 June 2011

Privacy on Facebook - Problem of our generation ?

Privacy on Facebook is still a very popular topic. During each speech, presentation, panel discussion, interview or workshop I still get loads of questions on this tricky topic.
I already tackled this topic in an earlier blogpost :

This is still a short summary of my vision :
Whenever you want to post something on Facebook, stop and think.
Is this something that anyone would be allowed to see ?
If yes, click the button
If no, think twice before posting !
Maybe you are not prepared to make this consideration each time you want to post something ? Facebook is a platform that allows you to configure what your friends can see. Make sure to do this !

Our friends from Talking Heads have written a great manual (
blogpost) with tips on how to protect your privacy on Facebook (in dutch). Use this as a guideline and you can be sure that those wild or drunk pictures can only be seen by your drinking mates who were with you at that wild party.
Your boss or colleagues will NOT be able to see this photo album.

Another great blogpost (in english) on protecting your privacy on Facebook :

When looking at the angle of the questions I receive on this topic, it seems to me that this privacy problem is really a problem of my generation.
Young people have a very different way of handling this and are much more open toward each other. Mark Zuckerberg is also part of this young generation and in his vision it’s very normal to share a lot of stuff with each other. If you don’t want to do that, the necessary tools are available to protect whatever you want.

I also hear a lot of rants on how Mark Zuckerberg is abusing our privacy by selling our profile details to the highest bidding advertisers.
If you really think this through, this isn’t so bad at all …
Facebook allows us to use this fantastic platform for free, while it costs millions to keep it running. Ads are one of the only ways to support these necessary investments.
Would you choose to see some ads of stuff that might interest you while using Facebook ?
Or would you rather see ads that are of no interest at all for you ?
Personally I’m joining forces with the younger generation and choose to see ads that might interest me.

When I was thinking about this blogpost, my thoughts drifted away to the memory of my grandparents. I remember from my childhood years, that at my grandparents’ house the doors were always open. Through the backdoor of their house family, friends and neighbors were walking in and out all day long. I think they were much less concerned about their privacy than we are.
Maybe privacy is most of all a problem of our generation ?

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