I have cancelled my Facebook account as it is little more than a voluntary dossier compilation methodology that can be data-mined by both advertisers, political parties, the government, taxing authorities and those who may be targeting you for criminal activities.
Therefore, I am more than a little suspicious to see quite a number of media publications using the Facebook integrated log-on. Especially since Facebook, with their little or no customer service and totally opaque data processing, uses a unilateral, one-sided agreement that gives them control over your digital life and little or no responsibility if your data is compromised or misused in any way.
So I am naturally concerned when I see that a respected computer vendor appears to be integrating Facebook features in its operating system …
Apple has seeded yet another OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 beta to registered developers. This release, which sports build number 12C50, is the fourth seed in under a month, and it indicates the software’s public release is imminent. But unlike the other three, this one includes a number of new features.
It has that much-anticipated Facebook integration built-in, like previous 10.8.2 betas, but it also boasts Power Nap support for the late-2010 MacBook Air, the ability to receive iMessages sent to your iPhone’s phone number, shared Reminders lists, Dictation support for a number of countries, and more.
Apple’s release notes detail the complete list of changes and improvements:
- Single sign on for Facebook
- Facebook as an option when sharing
- Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages
- Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations
- Facebook Like button for games
- Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement
Time for privacy legislation …
While I am not a big fan of legislation crafted by political parties seeking special campaign funding from the special interests, it is time for privacy legislation which criminalized the access, release and use of non-public personal data for personal or political gain. Of course the devil is in the details and I would naturally look to organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org) to help create such legislation. I would love to see the end of the “unilateral” take it or leave it contract, user agreement and terms of service – so that the consumer is not disadvantaged with respect to data breeches and other acts that demand redress and cash compensation.
Bottom line …
Facebook has become the “dossier” of choice for the government in the face of legislation that prohibits certain government agencies from collecting, storing and using information collected on Americans. Facebook represents a clear and present danger to some as their pictures and the pictures of friends can be digitized and analyzed – powering face recognition systems that could be used for covert surveillance by the government or tracking by commercial entities such as advertisers.
We may live in a fairly open society, but there should be limits to that openness. Programs and platforms such as Facebook have done much to erode our conscious regard for personal privacy and the protection of our data. In the minds of many teenagers, data privacy is a “goof” – a non-issue. But something that can easily bite them in the ass when they seek employment, insurance or become suspects in a crime they did not commit.
I am sure we will see the day when the police simply mine the voice and data traffic in the proximity of a crime to compile a list of potential perpetrators and witnesses and then proceed to use their voluntary dossiers to determine potential “persons of interests.”
Enough is enough. Integration for ease-of-use may be the last chance for those who want a big-brother surveillance system to obtain our data without warrant or our specific permission. .
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS