The Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, is complaining to the Federal Trade Commission that Facebook’s new information sharing and privacy policies are unfair and deceptive to users.
EPIC and a handful of other groups are urging the FTC to make Facebook turn back the clock on the recent changes, which were designed to persuade users to share more personal information on the wider Internet.
Remember those little discs from America Online? You couldn’t get away from them. Sign up and get 800 billion free hours. For beginning users, and we all were at the time, America Online was the internet. AOL quickly became big enough to merge with, take over really, Time Warner. Then things went south. AOL’s fortune was built on dial-up internet service, Time Warner was built on print media, two things that just didn’t turn out to be strong pillars. So the merger died. And today, the company, which is now called “Aol.”, officially begins a new chapter as its own company once more. What will the new/old company be?
Facebook is about to change. Oh, you’ll still get surprising friend requests from obscure 3rd grade classmates but the site dedicate to public sharing is about to get more private thanks to new privacy settings that will allow you to decide, update by update, who gets to see what you’re doing.
Facebook, Twitter and the tools that enable them sometimes get a bad rap. A recent example: a weekend article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which quotes mental health professionals who worry that addiction to our digital tools will lead to a breakdown of interpersonal relationships and a rise in attention deficit disorder.
A new study from the University of Minnesota does not address those issues but does suggest social networks are a good way to get young people engaged current events and civic affairs, and have much potential as teaching tools.