The news world has been a-twitter with privacy issues inherent in social networks most recently Google has been under fire for its Buzz service which it popped into unsuspecting GMail user’s inboxes causing outrage in the mainstream media while I was mildly annoyed by the lack of warning, I like many users found myself more irritated than outraged. The media sought out to demonize Buzz and do its best to create a stir in the public who turned on the service many before even trying it only by hearing about the abuse of privacy which Google has apologized for and corrected as quickly as the issue popped up. A more devious person could believe that Facebook was behind the stir if it hadn’t been attacked in the same way just weeks before. I have never had a real issue with Facebook or Google to be honest and this “outrage over privacy” I keep hearing about just doesn’t seem to faze most people in the know. While Facebook suddenly spreading my information to everyone who asks would miff me, who cares? I am just one of over 400 million users on the site who would want that information?
Prepare for these concerns to be renewed as both Facebook and Twitter look into location based filters and tagging for their services potentially allowing people to track you by your tweets and status updates. To me as long as these sites give you the ability to hide this information I have no problem with it. Facebook has always had options to keep your statuses hidden from the general public which is great but there is an even simpler solution: If your information is so personal or private/embarrassing – DON’T PUT IT ONLINE. Simple, easy, effective a solution that the people yelling about privacy fail to see or at least use. The internet is after all an information sharing tool. If these sites do totally share your information blatantly across the web (which they won’t people will start moving away) more and more I see people caring less about who knows their friend list contains Joe Nobody or their birthday is in March and they are a bisexual midget who enjoys chocolate cake. The 90’s kids are the first ones to be brought up with the internet at their finger tips and the next will have an entirely new immersion in the web and they will not care.