Facebook privacy settings are garbage

Yes, I'm on Facebook, although somewhat reluctantly. I use it to communicate with essential friends, colleagues, business contacts and my small band of loyal followers. No, I don't play FarmVille. I Don't have Happy Aquarium. And no, I won't help you with your mafia problems.

I don't normally talk about Facebook here on Hardware 2.0, but bear with me while I get this off my chest!

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Yes, I'm on Facebook, although somewhat reluctantly. I use it to communicate with essential friends, colleagues, business contacts and my small band of loyal followers. No, I don't play FarmVille. I Don't have  Happy Aquarium. And no, I won't help you with your mafia problems.

But like my blogging buddy Jason Perlow, I don't give Facebook and apps free rein to do whatever they want with my data. I like to keep my privacy settings solidly locked-down (maybe not as locked-down as Perlow's but close enough). And that's a tough job made so much harder by the fact that Facebook likes to tinker (for its own benefit ... I feel there's a deep-rooted ethics problem at Facebook) with its privacy settings on a regular basis. This means that I have to go through and make a visual sweep of all my settings periodically.

So why do I have to make regular sweeps of my settings? Surely you set a setting and it's set for ever? Yeah ... riiiight. The problem is that Facebook continually adds, deletes and makes changes to what privacy settings are available, and in doing so, sets the new options to defaults that suit its ends (which fall into three broad categories - Money. Money! MONEY!!!). I'm continually amazed to find the new features that I've been automatically opted into on Facebook.

I quickly opt-out.

But then I come across oddities like this setting for something called Instant Personalization (apologies in advance to any suffers of scopophobia): 

(click for larger image)

Notice that little checkbox at the bottom of the page? The one that's pre-checked but grayed out? I bet that when that setting does go live for my profile, that this will be something else I'm signed up to "for my own good."

This one page not only shows how Facebook really feels about your right to control how your data is used (you don't deserve any rights to control how your data issued) but it also highlights how sloppily thrown together the site actually is.

Thanks Facebook. I hate you. UNLIKE.

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