Social Networking and Identity Privacy

I’m sure no one will argue with me that the one thing that has heightened Internet privacy concerns the most is the explosion of Social Networking sites, particularly Facebook.  Last summer I blogged about privacy and pointed out a blog post by Burton Group’s Ian Glazer on his Facebook Privacy Mirror experiment related to 3rd party applications.  In response to Facebook’s privacy system changes this past December, Ian revisted the Facebook privacy issue and blogged:

The more things change, the more they stay the same…Facebook’s inconsistent treatment of privacy still remains.

In his post, Ian points out other articles and blog posts from people in the identity and privacy-related Internet world who assess the changes with some harsh criticisms.  One item in particular is Facebook’s “recommended” and default privacy settings being too open.

As the privacy debate rages on, I’m willing to bet most of the privacy features and settings available today go unnoticed by the majority of Facebook users (which I equally blame User apathy and Facebook’s limited education/awareness efforts.)

Admittedly, I shamefully still operate under the “Facebook for mostly personal connections and LinkedIN (and Twitter) for professional use” because of the limited way to separate status updates and photos for 300+ friends! Of course working in the identity industry means I’m (just slightly) more savvy than the average Facebook user and have figured out a few things like blocking specific people from certain things and not accepting Facebook’s recommended privacy settings automatically, I still had no idea on how to truly use “Lists.” That is, until today when I visited The SuperGroup’s website.

Chris Wallace, a former colleague and Facebook friend, has a great web tutorial titled “Facebook for Professionals” which shows you how to better manage your privacy settings and create Personal and Professional personas that I highly recommend watching, especially if you don’t want to fuss with learning it on your own. Be sure to also check out the Unofficial Facebook Resource and the 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know where you can download “The Holy Grail of Facebook Privacy.”

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