I have quit Facebook. My entire take on the whole privacy débâcle is this: Facebook lied. Facebook promised us a certain level of discretion in both how we could control the information about us that was available and in how they would use our information; time has shown that they have down an abrupt about face on both of these. I personally could care less (within reason) as to what information is available about me on the Internet; I deal with much more sensitive and personal topics here on my site on a daily basis. If I do not wish a certain topic to become a matter for the attention of the Internet I simply do not discuss it electronically. I believe it is nothing less than prudence to assume that your every electronic conversation can and will be subject to interception, analysis and unwanted sharing. These nefarious agents can be anyone; advertisers who want to know my tastes in order to better sell their project; the (freaking) CIA and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, who comb for sensitive keywords; relatives and coworkers about whom (hypothetically) I might have some less than positive comments.
In short: assume there is an attacker, always. Partition, [[self-censorship|self-censor]] and continually be alert for the potential consequences of what you may say. This is something that I have learned – the hard way.
- Partition: Decide what you want to say and where you want to say it. Think about who might see it whether at the front (user) end or back (server/Internet side).
- Self-censor: Obfuscate, diffuse, ignore, feign indifference, be opaque, be vague, omit, subtract and outright lie.
- Consider consequences: Bad-mouthing your employer and coworkers is always dumb.
So far as companies like Google, Microsoft (Bing) and Twitter operate, I have little to complain about. I believe that just like Facebook they genuinely wish to provide a better experience and make a money in the process. It is the way of the times. It is the way of the future. I can’t see an end to it until somebody cracks A.I. and creates a [[Turning test|Turing-compatible]] Mark on a computer somewhere. The very first question asked of Mark² will be “What do you think of our product range?”
Anyway. These other companies haven’t gone and made such bare-faced lies about their intentions that I’ve gotten likewise incensed. So: Goodbye Facebook. It has been easier to quit than I imagined because I really do not use my Facebook account for much of anything. I chat to Caira’s grandparents once in a blue moon? I’ve pulled the profile link down from yonder sidebar. I’m looking into my alt-Facebook options that I can push my friends and family onto.
What are your opinions on this? Weigh in below! :)