Remember, this is a guy who wrote a book called “Naked Conversations” and promoted it by posing nude for publicity photos. Trust me, you don’t want to see Robert Scoble naked (unless your name is Mrs. Robert Scoble -- and even then I’m betting probably not). He’s the last human on the planet I’d ever consult about privacy issues. Frankly you’d get better advice from a stripper.
The fact is, Facebook has steadily – and quite deliberately – carved away at the privacy protections its service was originally founded upon. It has essentially created a bait-and-switch scam: promising one thing but delivering something entirely different.
IBM researcher Matt McKeon created an amazing graphic that shows in dramatic fashion just how much control Facebook has gradually assumed over its users’ information every year since 2005.
The blue bits in the following screenshot represent how much of your information Facebook shared (and with whom) back in 2005. Back then, if someone wasn’t a member of your network (typically the place you lived or went to school) they couldn’t see your profile or access much information about you at all.
Here’s the current state of Facebook information sharing today.
Feeling blue yet?
In other words, if you joined Facebook in 2005, most of the stuff you thought you were sharing only with your closest college buddies is now being shared amongst the entire InterWebs.
Let me put it another way. Say you have a very rich, very generous friend. This friend owns many apartment buildings. One day he offers you the use of one of his buildings, free of charge, and encourages you to invite your friends to join you. It’s not exactly the Hugh Hefner Suite at the Palms, but hey, it’s a free apartment. There’s only one condition: He reserves the right to enter the unit as needed. He promises to not do it very often and give plenty of notice. If you don’t like it, of course, you’re free to move elsewhere.
The next year, the owner adds a new condition. Not only can he enter the apartment, he can also bring a few friends. Again, he won’t do it very often, and if you don’t like it you’re free to leave whenever you like.