Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Facebook Crossing the Ethical Lines

Last week I received Jason Calacanis' mass email regarding Facebook's change in their privacy policy, "Is Facebook unethical, clueless or unlucky?".

It's spot-on, amusing and a must read for all of you social media addicts and startup entrepreneurs out there.

Also a good follow up op-ed is by digital identity guru, Kaliya Halmin, over at ReadWriteWeb, "Facebook's Privacy Move Violates Contract With Users". An excerpt:

I think Facebook believes it can do anything with users because it believes they will never leave because "all their friends are there". Friendster was this arrogant too. Facebook blocks users from scraping their friends' data out of the service, which would allow them to easily find and reconnect with them elsewhere. It claims it prevents us from getting this information to protect our privacy. Really, it is all about locking users in.

I wonder how many more times they will get strip us down, leaving our familiar social clothes and underwear on the floor, and leaving us socially nude.

I think it is unethical and I agree with the concern that Jason Calacanis raises about how this will affect other Internet companies. "Facebook's reckless behavior is... simultaneously making users distrust the Internet and bringing the attention of regulators." This change will affect all of us working on building the new techno-social architecture of our society via the web.

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