EPA Module 6: Article Analysis

Analysis of New Facebook features pose privacy risk.
• What is the issue?
o Facebook’s new Places feature allows developers to provide access to users locations and can give “users’ Facebook ID numbers to marketers and tracking companies.” With over 500,000 Facebook applications, it is impossible to watch over all of them and make sure they are acting in accordance to rules.
• Why is this new or more relevant because of technology advances?
o Facebook is tapping into popular location-based applications such as FourSquare and Gowalla. Since Facebook is the world’s leading social network, Places can impact all users and is an automatic application for them, such as Photos.
• is one side of the issue and who supports that side?
o One side is Facebook and different companies who are planning on utilizing Facebook Places for deals. They like the idea because it is easy to check in and promotes their business. It also further enhances network engagement on Facebook and gives them a stronger hold on the social media stage.
• What is the other side of the issue and who supports that side?
o The other side include those who worry about privacy issues and that people you do not know will know where you are through applications you are assigned too.
• Is there a clearly defined body regulating this issue?
o Facebook and users of Facebook are the only ones who can regulate. Facebook can regulate how much information is given to applications while users themselves can decide whether or not they even want to use Facebook Places.
• Is there a clearly defined position that is being enforced?
o No, Facebook is going to continue to utilize Places. It is one of their new platforms.
• What is your position on this issue?
o I believe Location-Based Applications are the next big thing. It makes sense for people to be concerned about others seeing where you are, but ultimately you can control who sees what on your page. Users need to be sure to understand and regulate their pages themselves. They can put any of their “friends” on a block list and if they are so concerned about something happening, then they should do that. Or not use Places at all.

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3 comments

  1. I wonder how many people (users) enter into these sites without realizing the longterm implication on their privacy? I imagine, down the road, we are going to find that alot of young people got caught up in participating in sites only to learn years later that they created a huge privacy issues for themselves.

  2. Another aspect of this discussion is that facebook routinely opts everyone into the position where they share your data and then gives users the ability to leave. Is it ethical for a company to make a decision for their user population even if they give the option to change it later? As we have seen in the class both facebook and google executives have an attitude toward privacy that individuals should not expect it when online and should anticipate that soon it will be a thing of the past.

  3. Starla Ipson · · Reply

    You chose a good topic for discussion. After being in this class I’m more skeptical about privacy on the Internet, especially with social media like Facebook and Twitter. When I heard about this I went to check my privacy settings to make sure I could live with them 🙂

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