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Blogs On Internet Privacy

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 22 Mar 2011.

  1. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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    I’m starting to get frustrated by the way in which the debate about internet privacy is currently being waged. There appears to be a constant media buzz about how we’re all at terrible risk from hawkish advertisers who are just waiting to swoop in, steal our browsing history and then make millions from it.

    I hope I’m not alone in my disdain for this alarmist and arguably ignorant view of how the Internet works...

    http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2011/03/22/on-privacy-in-facebook/
     
  2. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    I wrote about the very same thing some months ago on an old blog.

    People think of themselves too highly online, just because youre on facebook doesnt mean youre as important as a celeb, really it doesnt.

    If facebook sold the fact i like, i dunno... 'hardstyle' on my profile who cares?
     
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  3. urobulos

    urobulos Member

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    Good article. I see no reason to get bombarded with useless ads, so if sometimes I have no choice except to watch an ad, I'd rather it was somehow aligned with my hobbies. Sure, I'd rather not have ads anywhere, but if they have to exist, make the experience less painful. If I wrote on Facebook that I'm interested in hardware and some of the Liked pages include Asus, Gigabyte, etc. then I would be ok with getting ads for motherboards instead of lawnmowers or fishing equipment.

    Online privacy is a real problem, but I don't think Facebook is part of that problem. One should always assume that whatever goes up on that website becomes public knowledge. Especially if you have a friends list of 500+ people... Besides does it really matter whether some company knows what you put on Facebook? I understand privacy issues regarding things like leaking medical data, or even forum memberships in some cases (like AA support sites). But seriously, is knowing what genres of music I like really that bad?

    The most interesting bit of the article came at the end though. The conflict between the need to monetize internet and people's habit of taking things from the internet for free will be one of the most interesting developments over the next 5-10 years. Recently I realised that every good article on a web portal I visit occasionally is a reprint from a newspaper. Every news items that was not reprinted was poorly written, contained many stylistic errors and did not look like something written by a professional journalist. There is quality web exclusive content out there, but much of the growth of internet as a medium was done through cannibalizing traditional media. If one wants quality content, someone talented has to create it and be rewarded for it. Even with targeted ads, surely there is only a certain level you can reach just by using the free content model. Sure, I'd rather have my entertainment and news for free, but at the end of the day it is unsustainable. The only problem is to establish what pricing levels are fair and for many people any answer other than "nothing" will feel like a rip off.
     
    Last edited: 22 Mar 2011
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  4. Siwini

    Siwini What is 4+no.5?

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    Never understood the mentality of sharing everything stupid and private on facebook. I just don’t get it. Who cares where you sht or sleep or who's knocking you over. Seriously people make news headlines because their employer fired thebeacause of what ppl upload on facebook. I just don’t get it..why?
     
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  5. mi1ez

    mi1ez Active Member

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    The biggest problem with internet privacy is generally the hardware between seat and keyboard.
     
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  6. barrkel

    barrkel New Member

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    Your Facebook account most likely contains your real name. Every website you go to that has a Facebook Like button on it and downloads the image for that Like button sends off your Facebook cookie with that request. That in turn means that your real name is associated with every view of a web page with the Facebook like button. Are you really comfortable with signing off on every page viewed like that?

    Personally, I only ever log on to Facebook on a secondary browser, and have adblocked Facebook entirely on my main browser.

    On the topic of targeted ads, I don't think they exist, at least not for me. I make buying decisions based on research and recommendations, so in so far as you recommend hardware at least in part on the basis of donations and loaners from hardware companies (if only because you wouldn't have access to the hardware to test it otherwise), I'm influenced by marketing spend; and I'll use affiliate links if they're available and handy and I have good reason to believe that they're the best prices available; but ads? No thanks.

    Furthermore, this rant of yours is predicated on the notion that consumers should feel obliged to put up with ads in order to support content creation. That's not the way economics works. Incentives matter. When readers vote to avoid ads by using technology which thwarts it, and supporting politicians who enact rules that curb tracking etc., they are exercising their lawful free will and pursuit of happiness. You have no moral or legal right to enforce a different situation by moral guilt-tripping, and I for one won't put up with it. If free sites wither on the vine owing to lack of ad viewers, so be it - that's the way the economics cookie crumbles. Find a more sustainable income source instead; find a different business model; but don't go crying about people who won't watch ads.
     
  7. greigaitken

    greigaitken Member

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    I'd rather have targeted ads than the typical "meet hundreds of bored houswives in your area" or "get white teeth and lose fat with the latest secret i discovered" unless of course i was single, fat and had really bad teeth.
     
  8. barrkel

    barrkel New Member

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    Also, I find the idea by some of the above commenters that newspaper articles are quality completely laughable. There are a handful of good bits in some newspapers, but by and large journalists are decent writers - they even have decent spelling and grammar with the aid of some copy editors - but the actual truth and veracity of what they write is highly suspect. The reason is that journalists are selected largely on the basis of how well they write copy, not how much they know about their beat. Most of what you find in the newspaper comes out of press releases and court and police reports, another chunk from vanity columns by people who've acquired enough fame to get an audience, along with a bunch of opinionated yet clueless blowhards who get the peanut gallery laughing.

    Thing is, you can curate more informed commentary yourself manually. The best coverage of the recent MENA activity is in places like arabist.net, aqoul.com, turcopolier.typepad.com, and on twitter (notably @arabist again - and I have Arab friends who retweet other interesting sources).
     
  9. blackworx

    blackworx Cable Wrangler

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    "forced to go back to the drawing board and work out how it can actually make money from its social media machine."

    I'd say they're doing that fairly well already. Facebook is now in a situation where they are going to have to go public quite soon purely because to remain private with so much cash swilling around causes them a giant punitive regulatory headache. They are the largest image-based advertiser on the internet, and the mighty Google is so worried about Facebook taking away its revenue that it is desparately trying to create a social offering of its own that people will actually want to use, whilst at the same time having a tit for tat war over users' ability to transfer contacts and the like between their services (e.g. Gmail) and Facebook, and vice versa - the point being that both companies rightly consider contact network information to be valuable data.

    I agree that the main stream media reaction has been abominable, but then its reaction to most things is abominable. Take the recent Chicken Little display it put on over the Fukushima situation - utterly, utterly shameful.

    Facebook does however have a case to answer. When you have a company whose founder is on record as having said that privacy is no longer the social norm, you HAVE to mistrust that company when it comes to guarding your privacy. And it does have a responsibility to guard that privacy, regardless of any po-faced point you may make about "well, if you didn't give them it in the first place then they wouldn't be able to share it".

    The question is not really one of not being stupid enough to upload information you'd prefer to keep private, it's one of informed consent and making sure Facebook doesn't do anything to get information YOU'D rather not let it have (e.g. your phone number) from someone else who isn't so hot on their own privacy.

    You state that Facebook is "free" (and then confusingly go on to imply that people shouldn't expect something for nothing) but Facebook is not free - as you state yourself in a round about manner it's a trade. It's in Facebook's interest to get the best deal possible it can out of that trade, and to do so it repeatedly and unashamedly pushes at the boundaries of what it wants to take from its users in return for its "free" service. It obfuscates privacy controls and takes heavy advantage of the fact that, superficially, Zuckerberg was right when he said that people don't care about privacy. I am referring of course to the stereotypical 13 year old clicking ok, ok, ok on privacy/information sharing prompts to get at whatever game/social app is the flavour of the day.

    I'm a user of their service and therefore I'm in business with them. It would be idiotic of me to ever give them an easy ride and I'm certainly not worried about poor little Facebook being bashed by these big nasty privacy activists.
     
    Last edited: 22 Mar 2011
  10. urobulos

    urobulos Member

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    To make it easier, I wrote "a web portal". In this case it was gazeta.pl, but it doesn't matter. I didn't want to use that example since most English speakers will not be familiar with it. I never said that all newspaper journalism is good quality. You're setting up a straw man here. The truth is there is no free online equivalent of the printed edition of the Economist. In the Polish market no website can provide content on the level of Polityka or Gazeta Wyborcza. For a British reader compare the quality of writing in the Guardian and on its website. Top quality newspaper journalism has no free equivalent on the internet. Can you see the difference? Anyone who brings up blogs and twitter as the best source of knowledge about the world loses all credit in my eyes. To each his own.

    Monetisation of the internet was a minor part of the article, so I'll just stop here.
     
  11. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    I disagree, it comes across that you believe the consequences of your personal information being sold off by facebook ends there with facebook getting some money. It doesn't, facebook can be armed with all your contact details; email addresses, telephone numbers, websites. All these advertising streams can be flooded with spam if facebook sold that information, granted it might now be spam your interested in, it would be a bad thing. Yes there are ways to be secure online and improve your privacy, but without personal information being disclosed, facebook wouldn't exist. If facebook shared your information, people would stop sharing their information with facebook. A lot of my friends have this view and their facebook profiles are dull lifeless wastelands because they are afraid to share their current status, photos etc. If this was the case with the majority of my friends I would see no use in using the service. An email contact list would be much more efficient.

    Bottom line: Facebook should protect it's users information so they keep using the service and so that Facebook can still earn billions from it's own advertising
     
  12. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    The question effectively it, pay-per-view or ads???

    Personally, ads don't affect me. We've put up with them on TV for years, atleast web based ones last 30 seconds or less, or a scattered around the edges of a page. If it allows me to view information for free, I'll live with it. I rarely look at them, and never click on any, they are just there, keeping my internet free.

    Just look at Wikipedia, years without ads and last year had to beg for donations to keep going...

    What annoys me more is the inability to delete all my data when I decide to stop using a service... It's like using AOL all over again...
     
  13. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    They reserve themselves the right to offer an advertiser your drunken photo's, and that's something else than telling them you might be interested in fashion.

    Otherwise, yeah, you can always opt out, not be on facebook, not network, and be hugely unsuccessfull.
    Works for me :D
     
  14. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    The potential values calculated by financial institutions for both Facebook and Twitter have been purely based on their membership and potential advertising to said membership.

    If you don't want to get hit by advertisers then just remove your real data for the fake details such as date of birth and religion. It will be interesting to know how many members were born on the 1st January and who are practising Jedi.
     
  15. Icy EyeG

    Icy EyeG Controlled by Eyebrow Powers™

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    I personally never understood why not being on facebook is linked to being hugely unsuccessfull (not that you're saying that).
    My only problem with facebook (which I don't use) is the information that other people post about me (pictures, for example), that I can't control.
    Other than that, if people don't agree with how facebook handles its user's data, than they should delete the account.
    However, if people still feel the internet should really have a facebook-like service then make a difference by contributing to the Diaspora project in some way.

    That being said, the wide majority of people don't care about privacy, until they are hurt by the lack of it. When this happens people blame anyone but themselves.
     
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  16. shigllgetcha

    shigllgetcha Come at me bro

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    I think you meant once a week
     
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  17. BlackRaven

    BlackRaven Freaking printers!

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    Well I personally like posting on facebook just to let people know im in the crapper.
     
  18. Snips

    Snips I can do dat, giz a job

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    Well I would like to like you personally liking your posts on facebook just to let people know you're in the crapper.
     
  19. beckoner

    beckoner New Member

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    If you think that advertising doesn't affect you or your shopping habits, think (while hoovering), and take a cool drink from your thermos then use Tipp-Ex and Sellotape to correct your post. Advertising has created hundreds of words in English (both US and UK) that affect our purchasing
     
  20. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    ...Hahaha. Internet privacy. Hahaha.

    Most of us aren't interesting enough for it to matter, and those of us that are, well. Sucks to be you lot!
     
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