Life Is an Open Book on Facebook
SAN FRANCISCO (DPA) - As the world's most popular social- networking site, Facebook has more data on us than any other private company, and a lot more than most governments.
So it can be both disconcerting and dangerous when the website - whether as a matter of policy or by mistake - lets out a lot more information than we would like.
Unfortunately for Facebook and its users, that's happening all too frequently.
As the magazine PC World so succinctly put it after the last debacle: ''Another day, another Facebook security snafu.'' The latest glitch was revealed Wednesday when Facebook said it had fixed a security bug that allowed user's to snoop on their friends' private chats and view the pending friend requests by others.
In March, a bug exposed the private emails of many users and limited their ability to hide other contact information. In December, Facebook changed its privacy settings, sparking a new Facebook protest group that now boasts more than 2.2 million members.
The new settings automatically share members' information, unless they take specific steps to opt out of the info giveaway. That meant that your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List and all the pages you subscribe to searchable for anyone on the web to see.
Prior to that there was Beacon, a Facebook information system that mined data from member profiles to send them targeted ads and displayed users visits to external sites on their Facebook stream.
Though a mass public outcry prompted Facebook to quickly abandon that idea, its newly announced OpenGraph initiative is proving just as controversial.
Given that the aim of OpenGraph is to accompany Facebook members on their travels to every corner of the web, the problem could get much more serious. The OpenGraph initiative allows websites to adopt the Facebook Connect sign-in system so that users activities on other sites are shared with all their Facebook friends. …