Boycott Facebook? (August 2, 2010)

. . .

X          “There is something troubling about all that information available to a small group without restraint or oversight.”

Y          “I want absolutely nothing to do with Facebook.  I concede that we really cannot elect not to use Google because it has a monopoly on a necessary and now fundamental service somewhat akin to a public utility.  However, Facebook is a luxury and participation should be voluntary.”

X          “Look at the growth.  Each year, Facebook captures another decade.  Three years ago, everyone under 30 was a Facebooker; two years ago, everyone under 40; a year ago, everyone under 50.  Now everyone under 60 is a Facebooker.”

Y          “I question whether some individuals participate voluntarily.  I received a request to be a friend on Facebook and, without opening it, was able to view it in a quarantined screen.  The e-mail from the Facebooker was able to access the names of individuals in my Contacts file that also are in the Facebooker’s Contacts file.  The offer to befriend him included a list of mutual e-mail contacts who are also on Facebook with an offer to befriend them.  Facebook is able to invade one’s computer without notice or permission or recourse.”

X          “A Republican Party official observed with an envious smirk that Facebook may have amassed more information on individuals than even the Republican Party.  He noted that the Republicans collect massive amounts of detailed information on individuals and households and target each person and household with a specific campaign message.  The Republicans may have more information than the NSA and the hundreds of public and private sector entities free to collect private information about us.”

Y          “A few days later, although I never activated a Facebook account, I received a message:  ‘You have deactivated your Facebook account.’  I did not activate an account and do not believe that it was ever deactivated.”

X          “Facebook is able to collect lots of partial information on many friends and then use the information to sketch a complete picture of a person.  Snippets provide a complete portrait.”

Y          “More and more organizations are using Facebook as the vehicle to connect with members.  That leaves me more disconnected from others.”

X          “And by next year, everyone under 70 will be a Facebooker.”

Y          “A class action lawsuit should only take a few weeks to resolve and could provide both injunctive relief and damages.  Developing the privacy protection implicit in the Third Amendment in the contemporary setting has potential, although the greatest threat to us may not be from agents of the state.  However, the legal game would permit the lawsuit to be delayed and drawn out for over a decade.”

X          “Face it, in the end, the lawyers would take everything.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Facebook: Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

Driver doesn’t have a tattoo, an i-phone or a Facebook page

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