Facebook's privacy timeline: Possible backlash or just evolution?

Summary:The Electronic Frontier Foundation's history lesson of Facebook's privacy policy is instructive. The timeline shows how Facebook went from being very focused on privacy to opt-in dealings designed to get users to share everything. The big question: Does it matter?

Reading through the Electronic Frontier Foundation's history lesson of Facebook's privacy policy is instructive. The timeline shows how Facebook went from being very focused on privacy to opt-in dealings designed to get users to share everything.

The big question: Does it matter? Facebook gave me a pop-up telling me that it wanted to show my hometown and a few other details. I didn't make any quick decisions and said the site should ping me later. Here's the problem: Facebook's privacy policy is changing quickly and it's impossible to keep up with it if you don't track this stuff for a living.

ReadWriteWeb captures the opt-in or else tactics. For what it's worth, I may go the empty profile route.

Facebook's big bet: The user will share all sorts of details because it's too much of a pain to opt out.

Reading through the EFF's timeline could---and probably should---spark some sort of backlash or at least awareness. But we're beaten down on privacy. Privacy barely exists. And people don't seem to mind. These people share everything. Privacy is the currency we use to get "free" stuff.

Also: Facebook's privacy changes: When will it go too far (and will you even notice)?

It's fascinating to chat with folks about whether they trust Facebook. The most common answer is "no" in my circle of folks. Why? It's these privacy policy changes that come every few weeks or months. Every feature---even something like the "like" button on a bunch of sites---has me pondering the motives behind the effort. At some point, these feelings have to matter for the brand.

Will there be a tipping point? Who knows, but the EFF timeline makes it clear where Facebook is heading. Whether you play along in the long run remains to be seen.

Related:

Topics: Legal, Security, Social Enterprise

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.