I deleted my Facebook account today

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Delete Billboard for the 2009 New York Street Advertising Takeover by Ji Lee, image via his website


I don't have a lot of illusions about privacy when using social media such as Flickr or Twitter, but there is a difference when a company like Facebook behaves in a really sleazy fashion.

I work on websites every day, including my own such as the art calendar ArtCat. I did not start out with one privacy policy for the calendar, and then gradually claim the right to use more and more information submitted to us. For example, I could offer a list of contemporary art galleries for sale to advertisers or artists looking for representation, but that would be wrong because it's not what the galleries expected when they gave information to us. However, given the changes in Facebook's privacy policy since 2005, they would consider this perfectly reasonable behavior.

In addition, with recent changes to their development platform, Facebook applications have more and more access to your private data, including applications you have not chosen to install, but your friends have. Want to share information only with friends? You're sharing it with applications that your friends use.

And how about those neat new sharing tools introduced by Facebook? Until they corrected a bug, visiting sites that are using Open Graph allowed them to install an application to your profile without asking you. Given their privacy track record, including the recent exposure of private chats, I wouldn't trust them to fix those holes quickly. "Instant personalization" indeed.

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