Thursday, November 21, 2013

facebook privacy in a graphic

One reason I deleted my Facebook account was what I perceived to be their shampoo-instruction-style erosion of privacy.  They seemed to be changing things, reacting to public outrage, rolling back a little bit, then repeating.  Slowly, they appeared to be drawing in users and strong-arming them into letting go of some control over their personal data by providing an ultimatum: "keep on top of our policy changes or leave".  I understand they need to make money, but surely there's a more fair way than filing down peoples' control to extract more personal info.

Credit: Matt McKeon

Browsing around today, I stumbled across Matt McKeon's infographic showing the evolution of Facebook's privacy policies and Kurt Opsahl's related timeline of changes.  The data only goes through 2010 (perhaps their M.O. has changed since then), but it's a striking graphic and worth a look.  It would be fascinating if construction of such an infographic timeline were automated and it could be deployed for other sites out there.

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