Privacy as our parents knew it is dead. We attended its funeral when we ushered in the internet.
Thanks to cheap data storage, search engines, and yes, Facebook, if we want to find someone, our chances are pretty good.
The average Facebook user is probably very comfortable with their circle of friends seeing their pictures.
I don’t know how many friends the average user has.
Fifty? Hundreds? Thousands? My guess?
Younger users will be more cavalier Â about who they are willing to share their pictures and info with.
No doubt their “coolness” depends on how many FB friends they have.
For the rest of us, it means we have to be ever vigilant and always be on the lookout for changes especially in their privacy controls.
So, don’t just sign up, log in and be friendly, stay on top of things.
FB’s popularity and dominance stems from how it seems to latch on to first and last names and even nicknames and email addresses and then connects everyone.
The “Friend Finder” is one way, but that’s something the user has to actively engage, meaning,
“I have a person in mind, say an old flame I want to look up, let me see what she looks like today.”
“What about the gal who didn’t give me the time of the day back whenâ€¦”
But the more disingenuous or sinister one is Suggestions.
“Peter Phun” (your friend) suggests you friend “Osama Bin Laden”
Excuse me, “For the record, I have never recommended any of my FB friends to befriend someone.”
At most, I might say, “I am friends with (insert your favorite hottie) on Facebook. Â Now that we’re friends, go look under my friends’ list.”
By the way, the State of California passed a law (SB1411) at the start of this year that makes it a misdemeanor to impersonate someone online.
I added my brother as a friend recently, I got a spate of friend suggestions from him.
I was under the impression he actually made those suggestion, after all, he’s family.
A case of impersonation? What do you think?
FB’s appetite for names and email addresses never ceases.
Even after you sign up, under the guise of increasing security, it suggests to you to add more email addresses because?
Most folks use more than one email addresss, don’t you?
So…”what’s wrong with the security question I set up?” Wouldn’t that be sufficient to prove I am who I say I am?
How many people are going to know that I, like Bond villain,Â Scaramanga, have a third nipple?
Disable Download Full Resolution Image
I first noticed this option recently when I uploaded a picture and its file size was bigger than usual.
Web-savvy folks know that once a picture’s pixel dimension is a certain size, it doesn’t make the picture look better on the end users’s monitor.
It just makes that picture load a lot slower.
When I viewed my “larger-than-usual picture” Â on FB, I saw this option “Download the full resolution picture”
Before those of you who are web-savvy start wagging your finger at me for uploading large jpegs, I want to point out that the majority of users aren’t even aware of what pixels are, so please bear with me.
So if you’re one of those FB users who just jumped in and didn’t change any settings at all, this is what the default settings look like:
Credit to Martin ChristopherÂ for making me aware that I’m not the only person who has a problem about this default setting.
Here’s the issue. If I only uploaded images of me and my family, I guess that would be fine.
But what happens if I don’t know any better?
Say, I leave my privacy settings on default, upload pictures of friends straight out of the camera without reducing the jpegs file size, then proceed to caption and identify them?
Even if I don’t tag those pictures, the captions are now visible for all to see.
Now, as the owner of the image, I might be allowing strangers access to these high resolution images too, wouldn’t I?
A prank in photoshop is there to be had but let’s not scare ourselves silly imagining worse.
What we can do
- The most obvious answer is to not use Facebook
- Change your privacy settings and continue to be vigilant about changes
- Don’t upload high resolution images (those without image editing software, head to PikNik and resize your pictures there first)
- Complain, start a Page about this?
Under FB’s terms, Amendments #13
If more than 7,000 users comment on the proposed change, we will also give you the opportunity to participate in a vote in which you will be provided alternatives. The vote shall be binding on us if more than 30% of all active registered users as of the date of the notice vote.
So, there you have it. Anyone out there care to take this on?
In case my website goes down, blame it on:
- my use of the word Osama Bin Laden triggering all kinds of alarms on the Homeland Security radar
- my wife finding out about my efforts to reconnect with an old flame
- my being sued by James Bond creators for “borrowing” Scaramanga’s distinguishing supernumerary nipple
- my site being slammed after this post goes viral