Following my little rant about online privacy yesterday I came across this great little Q&A article with Chris Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook.
Facebook has faced a lot of criticism lately, particularly in the tabloid press and on mind numbing TV shows like GMTV who, in my opinion dedicate a lot of their energy into promoting a ‘culture of fear’; a society obsessed with ‘hoodies’, ‘ASBOs’, ‘paedophile rings’, ‘data theft’, etc. I’m not saying that these issues aren’t important, but some stories are hyped up by irresponsible journalists pursuing unrealistic circulation targets. But I digress…
I’ve always felt that social networking sites, such as Facebook get a bit of a raw deal in the press. Okay, so they screwed up with Beacon, but they were quick to recognise this, putting their hands up and admitting it was a mistake. Social networking on this scale is a new media concept. And we’re all learning; users and social network service providers. We’ve got to take a share of the responsibility for the privacy of ourselves and our kids online. I think Chris sums it up:
“Kids have to be educated to recognise inappropriate approaches and advances and how to report them. Parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing online and how available or not available their information is”.
Facebook still has a huge responsibility to protect the privacy of users but it’s a two way street. Let’s stop being fearful of ‘what could happen’. Be proactive, understand the tool, protect yourself!
I’ve said it before in a previous post; education, education, education.