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Senators eye Facebook over not protecting user privacy

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Facebook users have noticed a dramatic change in the last few days, whereby their personal bios are tied to fan pages for the things that they “like.” This connects users with thousands of others who like the same thing, but for a few Democratic senators, this has dramatic consequences when concerning an individual’s right to privacy.

I believe that Senators Franken, Schumer, Bennett, and Begich have a reasonable right to be concerned, as it seems that Facebook has taken a general trend towards greater integration of certain services at the expense of privacy. The company has already gotten into hot water over changes to what is displayed to others by default, and these latest changes do nothing to dissuade the public from thinking that their privacy is at stake.

It also goes without saying that these new changes make it easier for advertisers to target potential consumers, as its now quite visible what someone’s likes and dislikes may be. While this allows companies to target Facebook users for products that they may enjoy, they still must use potentially private information to make these determinations, blurring the line between social networking and creating a new market for potential goods. It remains to be seen how Facebook will react to this criticism, but the very fact that US Senators are now involved speaks volumes to the popularity of the website itself.

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Written by brianjrees

May 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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