A question about Facebook and ethics

So, many of us are facebook users. I personally love the social networking– it makes it so much easier to keep up with friends. That being said, I have my security pretty high. I am not into facebook stalking.

A friend from India recently friended me. She is new to facebook and we have a history of discussing ethical issues. She makes me think and question so much more than most people in my life– which is why I adore her.

A couple days ago she posed a question and I am unsure of a good response. She said that when applications come along, when you sign them it gives the application access to your information (fine) and to your friends (maybe not fine). I told her that I wasn’t sure what information it was. Perhaps it just showed them her friend list. Still, the question continues, if it does give them access to your friends’ info, do you think or worry about that?

I responded that I don’t. I set my privacy level high and only post things that I am comfortable with. Having a variety of friends, some who are less Internet savvy, she continues to fret.

What do you do? How high is your FB security? And what would you or wouldn’t you post on a social networking site?



  1. i used to never worry about security on facebook. i had all of my contact information ad address on there. now, i still do but it’s only visible so certain people. and just last week i started setting my security high and now that you’ve mentioned the applications and their having access to your profile, i will be much more careful. and honestly, reading about people getting robbed in Chile just for being from the U.S. is part of what made me set my security higher since many of my friends are former students and friends of friends of friends–both groups of people I often don’t know well. identity theft is another one. the paranoia in chile has gotten to me!

  2. I think mine is set pretty high. The only thing higher would be if I made it so no one could even search for me. I’ve had a few facebook stalkers and that makes me wary. I don’t have much personal info on my profile either. Just an email address and of course the blog, but I hope that someone can’t track me down in a city of nearly 6 million with that.

  3. A friend of mine made apps for facebook once.
    He canceled his FB account and the job when he got an idea of what they are doing.

    I still have a FB account, but I rarely use it.
    I never really liked it.
    I don’t know why.

  4. Hi Clare,

    dont put anything on Facebook which you might regret seeing on the cover of the New York times 😉

    See this article which describes that there was a security problem which exposed ALL private Fotos (even the ones from Paris Hilton) http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_security_lapse_private_photos.php

    and here you will see an article that describes that 90% of all application have too much access (photos, contact details etc..pp)

  5. for that reason and because most facebook applications are “crap” I hardly ever install a fb application but block them after I receive the first invitation. the invitations are pretty annoying anyway 😉

  6. I read an article about how applications have access to your friends info in the NYTimes about two weeks ago (can’t find the link now…darnit!) and after that went through and changed my application security settings to the very highest possible. That being said, I recently discovered “Friends Lists” and am blocking my info to a lot of people I don’t talk to anymore and certain aunts that would be horrified by some of my photos…haha 😉

  7. Well, people are very paranoid about other people having access to their information… I think you can control what you post and who can see it if you are careful… The question is what can other people do with than information… I never posted my home addy or my phone number… I don’t think people can reach me (in person) and I don’t see a problem with sharing other stuff that’s not too personal… I don’t get all this privacy paranoia, really.

  8. My biggest thing is watermarking my photos after Facebook had changed their TOS to say that they could use any picture you uploaded in any way that they wanted (for commercial use, etc.). But, there was a huge uproar and they’ve since changed it back. I’m still paranoid about that though, so I’ll continue to watermark heavily.

  9. And as for privacy, HA! Hi, my name is Kyle Hepp. I weigh 133 pounds, I have 25k in my savings account, I am a Dem. Have you ever read my blog? My entire life is an open online book 🙂

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