Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Privacy and Social Networking

For some time now, there has been quite a lot of buzz about privacy settings in networking sites like Facebook, and it has resulted in quite a lot of users deactivating their accounts. Lets look at both sides of the equation...

If you look at the privacy point of view, every organization has to protect the data of its users. It is their duty. In that case, sites like Facebook have to strengthen their security.

But look at the other side of it. Why do we need the privacy settings in the first place? The user data can be broadly classified like:
TOP SECRET
SECRET
CLASSIFIED
PUBLIC

This isn't any theory - based classification!!! So, you can safely read on... I am not goind to lectures in Computer Security!!!

Now, the PUBLIC domain is the part that can be given out to everyone, CLASSIFIED in the protected data, like passwords, and the other two consists of the data that shouldn't be disclosed...
Now, if there are no privacy settings, all the data would fall under the PUBLIC domain. Anyway, this can't be permitted. So, we put passwords as CLASSIFIED...
This leaves us with SECRET and TOP SECRET... The sole idea behind social networking is sharing of data itself. Nobody is forcing you to share your personal data with them. So, don't give any data falling under the SECERT & TOP SECRET categories in the sites!!! Thats it...

Everyone has to realize one thing. Social networking sites like Faceebook and blogger sites aren't mail clients or message portals in any way. So, if you want to send a secret message, simply e-mail it. Don't post them in social networking sites and then run around trying to protect it.
Post only the data you need to publish in such sites. If you publish data and then lock it off from others, why did you publish it in the first place??? It simply destroys the concepts of publishing and social networking!!!

But this applies only for the user data. For data like passwords, maximum security should be provided. And I believe most sites provide the best possible security...

My final word is: Use your resources judiciously. Use sites like Facebook for keeping in touch with your friends and relatives, and those like Twitter for discussions and other related uses.
Don't post things like "nuclear secrets" and "rocket science" there and then run around for "privacy" and "security"!!!

4 comments:

Suraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suraj said...

Rightly said. Social networking simply means Sharing data. Now what data you want to share - be distinctive about it. Don't grumble about privacy in social n/ws, it's simply not meant for that !

ashok kini said...

yes,sites like fb snd orkut r for sharing our life and our likes with others, if u dont wanna share, why u joined it ?? i had joined fb but have now deactivated it not cos of anys security issues bt cos i dont like shraing..

u said it right twitter should be used 4 discussions, not merely 4 telling d world wat happening 2 u >> thatsy i am in twitter, so that i can meet peopl with similar mindset like me and can discuss issues of common interest with them..

if u want perfect privacy, just stop using net..cos whatever u do or store here is stored in some server..and can be accessed by a professional hacker..

am i right bro?

Mahalingam.P.R said...

exactly...