Wednesday, April 18, 2012

You're No Fun Anymore

What happenend as FB policy changed, and you didn't constantly
adjust your settings

 No, not you; you're fine.  It's just that Facebook has gone too far and the organization wasn't that savory in the first place, either.
After looking into how much we're watched by government and business, I thought about what to do about it.  I'm not about to commit a crime or a fraud, or even speed, but you can never be sure that those digging and spying have the law as their guide or your interests at heart.  Internet communication and e-mails are scanned for key words, for example, and the list of those goes on for pages.  If you use the word "extremist," (oops, just did) for example, you just exposed yourself to being considered dangerous and requiring scrutiny.  During WWII, Alexander Solzenihitszyn was arrested while serving at the front for criticizing Stalin in a letter.  For this word crime, he was beaten and sentenced to eight years in labor camps.
Think it will never happen here?  Remember the Patriot Act provision to keep tabs on your library check-outs.
I realized from the beginning, before signing up, that FB was just a device to gather information on individuals to resell it for use in targeted advertising, and that founder Zuckerberg was icky and unethical.  But even though there was a cost -- being an unpaid provider of crowd-sourced infomation -- I fell for the idea that all this fun playing with others was "free."
The first irritation arrived with some application I clicked on; immediately a screen appeared demanding access to all my information to be used in any way or at any time.  Pretty stiff requirement for some silly thing that really didn't do anything and was awfully jejune too.  I just recently deleted all the apps and "likes;" it was like keeping a lot of trash in the trunk of your car.
Reading the terms of service, buried in layers of increasing obfuscation, you discover that FB states that they own your personal data, but it's clear they don't want you to know the details about how much is available and to whom.  Think about all the developers of those 1/2 million applications out there:  are they motivated or competent to keep this information about you secure?
And guess what, if you "deactivate," FB and the apps will keep your data anyway.  If you decide to can the whole thing (and miss out on what antics your friends are up to!), you must select "delete" to close your account through the link in "on line help" and then the action is several more clicks away.
I'm almost to that point; it seems that there is no good way to continue playing on this field fairly.  Recently I went to the Internet Tools section of Windows Explorer to delete the cookies inserted every time I logged into FB (this is their entry, which I wanted to shut); they did not like that one bit.  Now, they send me a text (I don't have texting, so it costs .25 each time) with a code number allowing me to log in, even though I have repeatedly identified this as my home computer and the one authorized (by me) entry point.
It's a hard decision to give up my main avenue of social contact.  Well, Thoreau only needed a little, and still had intelligent things to say.  But I'm probably not Thoreau.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. We give up our privacy for connect-ability to others. So consider what you post and what others can make of that information. Does it really tell them WHO YOU ARE? Shoot just put a bunch of trash out there and hope they can't figure it out.