Facebook is releasing Places online. Probably on the verge of swallowing the competition—or not. What I find really interesting is the fact of how irksome people get when they find out the service shares their data with their friends. Seriously? Then get all fussy wanting to have the options off by default. Really? This is a growing trend with each release of many social applications that have gravity.
I keep going back to this point in my head..
You Pay for What?
We pay what for these services? We have rights to these services?
It’s a mousetrap that has some fantastic connectivity and resources and we get upset when the capital motivations are there by default?
Yes this is the question game.
Look at your web browsers. You accept cookies, beacons, and report all your whimsical anonymous data every moment. It’s not off by default. Why? Because it would kill the ad revenue of browser business models.
Natural Born Skeptic
We should be born skeptics is all it comes down to. If you don’t pay for a service, expect the service to want something out of you for using it. If you pay for the service I expect a lot more for my money and expect to have recourse when things go awry (hear that check baggage fee!)
You are taught that a defensive driver is the best driver—they’re all out to get you I can hear my parents saying.
Same thing exists online. Enjoy the ride but beware of all the caveats. Find out what data you are bleeding out—if it’s anonymous, how it’s correlated, is it sold, and then come to peace with those things or use anonymizers and a load of plugins to attempt (and I say attempt because it is an attempt—not a guarantee of true anonymity) to stay off the radar.
We use these services of our own free will. Eagerly walking into a commercial trap because we like what it has to offer at a price that can’t be beat. While I expect some civility in these services I don’t expect them to look out for my interests and neither should you.
I’ll be curious to see how the course of data laws, options, our expectations, and free enterprise all mingle over the next decade.