by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
privacy, sharing

epic, facebook

Is Facebook Violating The Law Just By Encouraging You To Share?

from the paternalistc-instincts dept

While we know that Facebook collects a ton of data on people, and we absolutely agree that the way it implemented some of its frictionless sharing is ridiculously unclear, does that mean it should be illegal? The privacy group EPIC, who has such a low opinion of all of human kind that it feels that only it should decide whether or not you can share your own info, is asking the feds to ban Facebook's frictionless sharing -- even though it's entirely optional.

Again, we agree that the implementation is poor, but EPIC takes this to a whole different, and absolutely ridiculous level, suggesting that merely encouraging people to choose to share info is a violation of their privacy:
Encouraging or prompting users to share personal information is detrimental to consumer privacy
Wait, what? That makes no sense. I would agree that tricking people into sharing personal info is detrimental, but merely providing services and encouraging people to share info they want to share? How is that possibly detrimental? It's only deterimental in the eyes of organizations like EPIC, who think that they need to block people who want to share from doing so.

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  1. identicon
    Woadan, 30 Sep 2011 @ 1:16pm

    I guess I wouldn't mind all of this, but when the default status is always set to open everything unless I opt out, it means I have to be very careful when I set an account up. Granted, this isn't just Facebook, but Facebook is among the most egregious of the offenders on this issue.

    Why not set the default to OFF (nothing shared), and let me choose which things I want to share? The answer is because it's harder to get people to release something that's already locked down, and that is because it's less likely an account gets changed after it's created.

    Better yet, why not give me the information I need to make an informed decision?

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