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BLOGS: Six Things You Need to Know About Facebook Connections

You have to wonder where Facebook is going. For example, it is currently engaged in a lawsuit in California that would, if successful, effectively criminalize a large number of users. At the heart is FB’s usage conditions that state that you cannot use ‘automatic logons’ – but it seems that FB is using this to try to stop any dilution of its sole ownership of all its members and all information about them.

Ownership of your information is Zuckerberg’s route to becoming a multi-billionaire, because he can sell you to the highest bidder. If you think that this sounds alarmist, consider its new idea of ‘Connections’:

Basically, Facebook has transformed substantial personal information — including your hometown, education, work history, interests, and activities — into “Connections.” This allows far more people than ever before to see this information, regardless of whether you want them to.
Kurt Opsahl, EFF

The effect is that while you can prevent some of your data from being visible, you cannot prevent it from being ‘publicly available’. Kurt quotes  Facebook on what publicly available actually means:

Such information may, for example, be accessed by everyone on the Internet (including people not logged into Facebook), be indexed by third party search engines, and be imported, exported, distributed, and redistributed by us and others without privacy limitations.
Facebook

If this concerns you, you should read Kurt’s blog. It’s based around six things you need to know about Connections:

  1. Facebook will not let you share any of this information without using Connections.
  2. Facebook will not respect your old privacy settings in this transition.
  3. Facebook has removed your ability to restrict its use of this information.
  4. Facebook will continue to store and use your Connections even after you delete them.
  5. Facebook sometimes creates a Connection when you “Like” something.
  6. Facebook sometimes creates a Connection when you post to your wall.

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