How To Internet

When it comes to your privacy, Facebook stinks

By now, you’ve probably gotten used to all the privacy warnings about Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and other social media and online sites.

You’ve certainly heard all the news, even if you haven’t taken the time to actually do anything about it in your own life.

And maybe that’s okay.  Maybe it all depends on your personal philosophy about what people can do with your personal information.  They say that kids today don’t care as much about keeping things to themselves as their parents did at that same age.

Of course, all that openess could come back to bite those youngsters when they go out to find their first job — but that’s at least 10 years from now, right?

The Truth About Facebook - Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know, and Much More - The Facts You Should Know
The Truth About Facebook –
Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know, and Much More – The Facts You Should Know

So does it really matter about all those privacy settings?

Apparently not — if a RECENT SURVEY ABOUT PRIVACY has anything to say.

In essence, people are more likely to trust a retailer with their information than they are to trust Facebook, in terms of what is expected from that established relationship.

In terms of how comfortable people were with their private information and how it was used,

  • 81% were comfortable with grocery stores targeting them with relevant coupons and sales to what they normally purchase
  • 66% were happy with Amazon’s recommendations
  • 41% didn’t mind Google helping with appropriate search results
  • 38% were okay with local merchants using geo-targeted ads
  • 36% said that credit card companies can be expected to market appropriately similar items to other purchases
  • 35% expected cell phone providers to track their whereabouts and use that info somehow
  • BUT… just 33% were comfortable with whatever Facebook was going to do with your private information

In other words, Facebook ranks lower than credit card companies and cell phone companies in terms of respecting their customers.

Web Watch is fine with specific companies marketing directly to us.  We expect it in some cases — travel destinations are a prime example of an industry that really gets it.  You enjoyed your time at Disney/on a cruise/in Las Vegas right?  So why not come back soon — here’s an offer we wrote Just For You!

See, it isn’t all bad.  At least you’re the one getting something out of that relationship.  Who knows what Facebook is giving you in return for the same info?