back to article Facebook RIPS away your veil of privacy, declares NO MORE HIDING

Facebook is binning a feature that lets people retain their anonymity on the social network. The retirement of the "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" privacy setting was announced by the company on Thursday. It means anyone can find the profile of someone else through the search bar. People used to be able to make …

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And so it begins

Since Facebook has to make money for it's shareholders, a gradual erosion of privacy will happen to force more content to be readable by everyone so more pages can be served up and more ad revenue generated.

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And so it continues.

Fixed.

The 'erosion of privacy' IS happening and has been for some time.

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Re: And so it continues.

Began a long time ago. Turn your back and another settings change means something else goes public by default.

I urge all reg readers to do the honourable thing and destroy any Facebook profile you have. You just know that inactive/deactivated accounts will still be mined and sold, the only way to destroy an account and your PII being fodder for them is the destruction that they make as difficult as possible for you... It even take an extra fortnight 'in case you change your mind'! Killed my profile a while back, it's liberating.

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Re: And so it continues.

'I urge all reg readers to do the honourable thing and destroy any Facebook profile you have.'

" though the information they see on your profile will depend on how much you have shared."

Don't panic Mr Mainwaring, I am amused at the 'you haven't filled in this bit of your profile' prompts on screen.

A single click and it's gone.

My profile is almost empty -- it has a name and a free email account I set up to register with FB - I might populate it with complete rubbish sometime.

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JDX
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force more content to be readable by everyone

Maybe in general, but not in this case. This story simply means that the fact you are ON facebook can't be hidden - that "John Smith" has a profile is searchable.

You can still lock down everything about you from strangers.

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Re: And so it begins

I just checked over my settings, awkward though they are.

"Limit audience for old posts" Set to friends only. Sorted.

And my profile pic is currently The Blerch: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

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Anonymous Coward

Re: force more content to be readable by everyone

This story simply means that the fact you are ON facebook can't be hidden - that "John Smith" has a profile is searchable. You can still lock down everything about you from strangers

Only until that gets in the way of revenue too. The author got it right:

the company's main motivation is to eradicate user privacy over time

I don't think it can be said any better than that.

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Re: And so it continues.

Churn -> spy -> advertise

When the the interwebs be free of this irksome business model.

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Happy

Re: And so it begins

The Blerch: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

that's bloody freakin genius, thank-you

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it continues.

"When the the interwebs be free of this irksome business model"

When people are prepared to pay for things again...? :-\

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Re: And so it begins

No, seriously, "bloody freakin genius" is a bit of an understatement. Wow.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it begins

I'd stop posting to ANY websites if you're worried about Facebook!

I post images to Archant press website, you know where they post their selected image of the day? Yep, Zuckerberg's online marketing data warehouse! Doesn't bother me, I'm glad of the exposure for my work. Lots and lots of companies have Facebook presence and unless you have double checked every single sign-up agreement with a fine-toothed comb, there's a chance you could end up in Zuck's data-mart by proxy if you missed some legalise clause in the sign-up agreement.

Sleep easy in your beds tonight tinfoil hatters!

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Childcatcher

Re: And so it continues.

The 'erosion of privacy' IS happening and has been for some time.

You cannot have an effect (e.g. erosion) on something that does not exist (e.g. privacy on Facebook). My assumption has always been that if you post anything on FB, you are making a public statement. In fact, you probably will get more eyes on it than if you put up fliers in a metropolitan area.

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Re: And so it continues.

@Cliff:

While the profile killing is all well and good, the commercial value of the information contained in the 'archives' decreases over time. The real threat of this new change is bigger than the obvious privacy issue. Now users will be trying to tweak their privacy/sharing at a more granular level, and this information is really what Facebook wants. Basically they are crowd sourcing the connections/interests information, not unlike the data brokers back a few weeks ago:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/08/acxiom_lifts_skirt_shows_secrets/

Damned if you don't, damned if you do. Even if you accept that everything is public and only use it to communicate instead of being 'social', you still end up helping them refine their data. They have finally figured out how to get you to do the dirty work for them regardless your use case.

@AC 16:10:

The point is not that it is posted on facebook, but the connections that facebook is mining, if a third party posts your work there, that is a bit different than you and your friends helping target ads that will be served to you. It is quite easy to take steps to make it harder for facebook to find or use connection information when content is submitted by a third party as opposed to through FB itself.

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Re: And so it begins -- New Subterfuge Powers...ACTIVATE

New Wonder Twins Subterfuge Powers...ACTIVATE

I did that, too.

However, I suspect that fb will try to say:

-- when you agreed to the TOS, you warranted that you would post factual info about yourself

-- you agree to be subject to our TOS even if we amended them behind your back

So, theoretically, if it mattered to fb, fb might "resurrect" old, deleted posts it feels "are factually necessary to establish a factual, minimal record of you and your corporate being so as to enable (creditors, law enforcement, marketing forces, governments (domestic or foreign) and other) entities to find you and enjoy a seamless, meangingful engagement on fb. You may delete your profile only to find friends telling you that you still pop up as a friend.

After all, MA himself says privacy is dead. How can an adult wishing to be private/anonymous remain so if one megalomaniacal corporation alone decides to be gatekeeper/librarian of its subscribers? AOL locked outsiders out, unless they joined in. FB is locking in subscribers, even if they think they are jumping out. After all, who can prove that fb really does delete our information even if we systematically, post-by-post go in and zap 100 posts per day until we have cleared our profiles before hibernating a month, and before resurrecting prior to a "final" purge?

FB could declare that we are violating the TOS by hand-purging all our posts, committing "contract/covenant subterfuge", and forcing it to "restore the facts" we are trying to hide. Well, that is, if we're engaging in this "subterfuge" post-age-18/local age of majority/age-able-to-enter-into-legally-binding-contracts, that is.

And, consider this: maybe, if fb thinks it can hide its activities with its "other customers" from its "real product/customers/us", it may just feed us honeynets of ourselves and friends while working on a black project of making us THINK we are maintaining private, less-or-non-marketed profiles. Soon, we'll not ever anymore be in legal control of our own reputations as long as entities like fb deem our posts and private info as having so much value that they will monetize it no matter WHAT we say.

So, at what point does fb become subject to regulation as a public utility? Or, does that depend on how supplicantly/obsequiously fb whores itself out to various governments?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it continues.

What's App doesn't have advertising and you pay a small fee.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it begins -- New Subterfuge Powers...ACTIVATE

Easy enough to ensure your information doesn't get directly used by Facebook, don't use it.

I acknowledge that Facebooks slippery tentacles may (will) have access to some stuff I post elsewhere but I am doing my best to not post things on the web that may be of value to commercial leeches. My view is that anything on the internet is basically public, so only put just what you want. I have zero issue with The Register mining my comments as they're pretty innocuous.

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Re: And so it begins

It's evolution in realtime - if you're stupid enough to use Facebook then this is what you can look forward to.

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Re: And so it begins

.

"People just submitted it. I don't know why. They 'trust me.' Dumb fucks."

.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it begins

Once you share something with at least one person, that thing ceases to be private.

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Black Helicopters

back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

Pick up the phone, please the local coffee shop and talk face to face. Anything to avoid the clammy hand of advertisers. Though given the integration (read corruption) of the ruling elites, one could expect the NSA to amalgamate with Google et al and everyones data be sold for advertising and low cost "anti-terrorsim" surveillance. Synergies all round. Or has this already happened, but the IPO has not been announced yet ?

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Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

In which case you will also need to only use cash, no more cards as that info is also marketable as are the lists of goods you buy with a card at the supermarket.

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Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

Only if you use a loyalty card

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Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

You think? And Visa/Mastercard don't know your buying habits?

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Glad

I deleted my account back in 2010.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

In which case you will also need to only use cash, no more cards as that info is also marketable as are the lists of goods you buy with a card at the supermarket.

You have only started to think about doing that now?

:shakes head in disbelief:

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It's all in the details

Visa/Mastercard just know you bought $20 of stuff from the supermarket.

The loyalty card tracks your actual purchases. The supermarket sees you bought more condoms than usual, a bottle of wine and a bunch of flowers and can figure you might have a new girlfriend.

FB KNOWS you have a new GF because you post all those pictures which can be picture linked to a new person and you changed your status.

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Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

http://www.prisonplanet.com/022904rfidtagsexplode.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: back to wetware to wetware direct interfacing

Microwaving money makes invisible RFID tags burst in to flames?

Nothing to do with the metal strip in the notes then? Metal of any kind doesn't work so well in a microwave.

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There, there...

'You can get used to anything. And, besides, it's not such a big deal'.

Most won't be able to tear themselves away from fb long enough to even wonder what's different. Nor whether they should wonder about its significance. Sad, really.

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Anonymous Coward

HR loves facebook and hates people with private profiles. This move could prevent some people from getting jobs because of what they said to their friends in the past, when they thought they had privacy.

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Could also cause non-hiring of those who hibernate their fb accounts

Or who lock them or refuse to open one up.

Time to re-limit, and to just use fb as an overwhelming blog wall.... Anyone looking, tho, can still try to social engineer our friends, or try to add us.

Personal policy: 140 is the MAX, and from now on, if I have not met you, you do not get added, period.

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Re: Could also cause non-hiring of those who hibernate their fb accounts

"Personal policy: 140 is the MAX, and from now on, if I have not met you, you do not get added, period."

Why would have "friends" if you've never met them?

My policy is the pint policy. Have I gone for a pint with you in the past 12 months? If not, you're not a real "friend" and you get binned off.

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Anonymous Coward

My profile is all private and I only share to friends; if HR asked to see my profile I'd tell them to jog on, just like if they asked to see inside my house. None of their business.

If I go on a job hunt my profile gets deactivated.

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Anonymous Coward

HR loves facebook

Any employer who expects employees to have a Facebook profile is an employer I have no desire to work for.

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"we weren't able to find your facebook profile"

"why would you want to find my facebook profile"

"it's our policy, to avoid situations where users may find comments on our company on employee profiles"

"and you couldn't find my profile"

"no"

"ta-daaaaaa"

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Exactly!

When are people going to wake up and realise the days of the internet being a free wild-west, last frontier of freedom are long gone! It got owned by the corps many moons ago and they've got your "number" well and truly marked and catalogued in one of their neat little categories. If the marketers haven't got you yet then PRISM has the backups just in case!

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Trollface

Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

I never use their site.

They never use my PI.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

> They never use my PI.

Do you have any friends on Facebook? Are you sure they've never mentioned you, or uploaded a picture including you?

Or have you ever visited a website with a facebook "like" button?

Your naivety is showing. Facebook probably already have a "shadow" profile for you.

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Joke

Re: Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

Nice try but a fail.

I don't have any friends!

So there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

Unfortunately its not as simple as that.

They still force cookies onto your devices unless you've deployed countermeasures, so that they can track you when you browse sites belonging to affiliate businesses whether you're a FB user or not.

Also they now 'own' any information that friends/associates may have foolishly posted which relate to you - regardless of whether you the subject of that information actually has an account.

Meh.

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Re: Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

Its seems to be getting tougher to protect oneself on Facebook and easier on the streets. Is this how a person feels in the offline world when someone stands on their rooftop and yells sensitive/ embarrassing/ secret information about them to the world?

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Re: Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

Moke and Smirrors

Even HERE!

The other day, in a section about databases, I asked a few questions. Within an hour or less than 4 hours, i received in my gmail a very tailored databases-related (more than previous ones) damned near blatantly trying to address the very stuff I posted. It didn't feel creepy or surprising, except that it makes me wonder whether:

-- The Register heaped the gist of my comment over the wall, or

-- A db marketer paid to get my email address in order to send me a targeted (informative, but uninvited, more or less) email, or

-- Whether Google is trawling The Register and then taking it upon itself to direct companies at me and at other users

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook and I have a special privacy agreement

I don't have any 'Friends' © ® (Pat Pend)!

There, fixed that for you.

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users

Use them like they use you, simple.

Don't post anything that is not public knowledge anyway.

Don't say anything stupid.

Use ad block.

And better yet, do not use a real name or at least not your real name.... my friends totally accept that i am not the same name on facebook as real life and it keeps the 'old school friends' away, yet i still get to see world+dog baby photos and lol cats.... (aren't i lucky).

You can be a victim or you can just work around their desperation for your info by giving them what is not of value.

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Re: users

That's right. I use Facebook for business, many of my customers are there and share my updates.

I post about my business, knowledge I WANT to be made public.

I don't post about my liking for Shiraz or that I love my cat more than I even like most people.

And I don't post opinion only fact.

Facebook have a real email address and a real name associated with the business.

My business is honest with nothing to hide.

They have my IP address (static) and all the information that can be gleaned from that.

They think I am 108 years old, there is not a single other piece of personal information I have given them.

Facebook scripts are blocked everywhere except Facebook, I only accept session cookies from them.

The adblock filters:

facebook.com##div.megaphone_content

facebook.com##div.ego_section

deal nicely with the advertising.

What's not to like about a free advertising platform?

As for your average Facebook user, think of it as evolution on the Internet, Darwinism on a whole new level. Those with the smarts to work it out and understand how the Internet works will be the users. The rest will be the used. Not so much survival of the fittest, which was a somewhat inaccurate description of evolution anyway, as survival of the smartest.

Be grateful for those with less Internet savvy, for they take the flack. And whilst there are those to take the flack, those of us smart enough to wear flack jackets (noscript, adblock, refcontrol, cookie monster etc) will generally be overlooked.

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Re: users -- filters

You missed one out.

The one that looks for any image file from anywhere that has 'zuckerberg' in the filename.

Works a treat.

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Re: users

My thoughts precisely.

I never initiate any posts unless it's a neat photo I've taken, or something earth-shattering which has never happened to me before. Other than that, I share no "valueable" personal info. Simply put, don't post stupid stuff, and stupid stuff won't happen as a consequence of said postings.

I also delete friend requests of people whom I either:

1.) Simply don't know IRL

2.) Don't associate with on a regular basis IRL

3.) Flat-out don't enjoy sharing oxygen with them on this planet.

I also use VPNs, Proxies and Ad Blockers. One would be daft not to employ such measures these days.

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Anonymous Coward

Facebook == Big Brother Watch

with a feed direct to GCHQ and the NSA

Do you really want everyone to know all this stuff about you? Nah thought not

Another reason (if I ever needed one) NOT to use this thing. The same applies to gmail and twatter.

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