I think that most of the privacy problems that Facebook and Etsy users have experienced is born of naivety on the part of both companies. These are young organization moving as fast as they can and careful, big boy's engineering may not be their forte.
For example, you'd think that Facebook would be engineered to protect at least the privacy of its own CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. If you did, you'd be wrong. Just this week it emerged that Zuckerberg's private photos on his Facebook account had been accessed by the simple method of a user reporting that Zuckerberg's profile picture was "inappropriate". This exploit apparently gave the reporting party access to the rest of Zuckerberg's photo collection.
I find it astounding that such a flaw should exist in Facebook given the resources the company has and the simplicity of the exploit. Really? No one noticed the problem until it happened? That's like finding an open backdoor into Fort Knox being defended by a deranged squirrel.
The reality is that social networks of all kinds, despite the last few years of wild expansion, testing, and evolution, are very, very new and their management only slightly older. No one is demanding that they be serious and really careful with our data because we love our social networking apparently more than we demand our privacy be maintained.
Unless these companies were to do something epic like revealing the U.S. nuclear launch codes ... well, then we might get serious. Until something like that happens, the consequences for them fouling up are minimal.
Apparently, when it comes to social networking we, as a cultural, are like the answer to the joke: We don't know and we don't care.
Gibbs cares in Ventura, Calif. Tell him what you know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about lans and routers in Network World's LANs & Routers section.