Sunday, May 31, 2015

NY Times picking your friends' noses

"You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends' noses," so an old saying goes. This notion has become largely obsolete in the age of social networking. For example, when you sign up with your Facebook account on a popular website they typically get not only your public profile, but also your friend list.

Imagine now doing real business, e.g. making a purchase or contacting customer service, using your social networking profile as a login. For the price of the transaction the other party gets access to your entire social graph, which (with a little bit of triangulation through other customer logins) provides an incredible wealth of marketing information. As a result, you give up a large chunk of your privacy for free, without even being aware of it.

We used to think about privacy as a trade-off: you get access to free content by giving up your right to stay anonymous, i.e. providing the content distributor with the information about what kind of content you like to read. If the current trend continues, people will be giving away for free not only their own privacy, but also their friends' privacy too.

tags: trade-off, trend, social, networking, composite actor, privacy, internet