This morning I decided to delete my facebook account again. In 2008 I shut my account down as I was uneasy about their privacy settings and the lack of transparency with what they did with your data. But I started it again as a way of keeping in touch / getting back in touch with people while I am on mat leave. I have been careful about what I post – I am certainly not as open there as what I used to be. But the privacy of my personal information or lack there of, is something that bothers me. There also has been recently an amazing amount of security breaches where people’s information (conversations etc) been accessible or available to 3rd parties (see two posts by Danah Boyd here and here for more information – with links to articles outlining these worrying breaches).
Given facebook is a “closed” network I feel people get a false sense of security about what people can and can’t see about themselves. This is unlike twitter, a social network tool that is very transparent about what information they collect about you and what you share with others.
When I shut down my account in 2008 I had to jump through lots of hoops to *delete* the account (not just suspend it). And this week I was surprised when facebook asked me if I’d like to add a second email address to this new account and offered me up two old email addresses of mine that I had previously used TWO YEARS AGO ON AN ACCOUNT I HAD ALLEGEDLY DELETED.
The lack of transparency on this social network is bullshit – no matter how private you try and keep what you post, it appears that others will still have access to it, and facebook itself does not delete any information about yourself despite a clear instruction to. What concerns me now is that if anyone sets up account pretending to be me, they essentially will be offered up personal data that is stored on facebook despite my understanding that this has been deleted.
Anyhow what this means is that I am keeping the account going, but not posting anything there again. I prefer to be on twitter, where I am 100% clear that what I post is visible to anyone who cares to take a look.
I do not appreciate a site
a) that pretends to be closed or private…
b) shares my information with others I do not want it to / have not opted in or agreed to the sharing of information
c) that has serious security breeches that allow others to see my personal information
d) that has scant regard for people’s desires for protection and privacy of their personal data
e) that makes its privacy settings so dense that it is almost impossible to delete an account
e) …and if you manage to find the option to delete your account THEY KEEP YOUR INFORMATION ANYWAY
So if you want to reach me, find me on twitter (@kelpenhagen) or email me – kelpenhagen (at) gmail (dot) (com).
Love Kel x