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18 May 2010

Facebook, Google and Privacy [CARTOON]

Internet identity disclosure cautionary cartoon
I thought that the purple-hued face peering through the wall looked like Mark Zuckerberg.

Are Facebook users adequately aware of the status of their private or personally identifying information? Probably not.


The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook is a recent analysis  by IBM Research scientist Matt McKeon.  (He did this as a personal project, not as part of work for his employer, IBM).

Matt's analysis was thorough and revealing. It is summarized by a series of charts depicting user growth and information sharing on Facebook, at multiple points in time: 2005, 2007, 2009 and early 2010.

Static 2005
Earliest "snapshot" of Facebook user privacy 2005

Matt's article has all six charts in chronological, as well as a complete explanation of his methodology, including data collection details. It demonstrates very clearly the dramatic increase in level of exposure of private data for Facebook users.

Privacy status 2010
Personal data and privacy status as of April 2010
Please note that these charts are part of a work-in-progress and may be updated at any time. They are reproduced here* with specific permission from Matt McKeon but are not Creative Commons licensed and may not be further reproduced except under the limited usage terms on Matt's website.

No privacy on Facebook nor trailer park
This real-life image via fffound is well-matched with the conclusions one may draw after reviewing  Matt's analytic work.

Facebook Addiction: The Life & Times of Social Networking AddictsAlso have a look at these eyebrow-raising product offering inspired by Facebook that I noticed on Amazon. (I am not endorsing them, nor encouraging anyone to purchase anything; I included them for amusement purposes only).
The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community

Keep in mind that this is a small sampling of Facebook-related books from Amazon.com. Much more is available.  I admit, I chose the most sensational-sounding of the bunch.




Ellie K's inquiry about re-use permission in Disqus comments.

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