I love Facebook. And I hate it.
I love it because it’s an amazing tool to keep in touch with friends. And I hate it because Facebook can’t be trusted with my private data, so I consequently don’t use as much as I think I’d like to.
I was reminded of this when I read an article that stated:
The Boy Billionaire, aka Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has done it again. His proposal to turn Facebook messaging into a sort of universal communications platform is probably the worst idea of the year. It's bad for the privacy of users and for corporate IT, which will have to deal with a huge spike in hard-to-defend Webmail. Ultimately, it may well be bad for Facebook, which will likely see its fairly pristine messaging service overrun by spammers and hackers.
It then went on to state:
A company that can't or won't take steps to protect the personal information entrusted to it by millions of users is about to vastly increase the volume of communication flowing through its infrastructure. Even worse, it will archive that information for years, providing infinitely more opportunities for that data to leak into the wrong hands.
I don’t use Facebook for email unless someone writes to me first, and I never use it for chat. But I know millions of people do, and they will wholeheartedly adopt the new Facebook messaging system without a 2nd thought. But before they do, they should read this one last quote:
The mind-boggling privacy issues related to this new platform are almost too obvious to mention. Facebook's privacy controls are confusing and inadequate, and they change every few months as a new leak surfaces. Facebook IDs are handed off to third parties who can combine them with other information and use them to identify actual users.
And remember, at this point, Facebook is just leaking information on users' home pages and the pages they visit. There will so much more information to handle and probably mishandle when its new platform takes off.
If anyone wants to delve into some of the the technical bits surrounding this, I'd recommend you read the rest of the article here.