I have a confession to make. I am not active on Facebook. I misguidedly enrolled in it a while back, but I don’t follow anyone or anything and, as far as I know, am not followed. I mean – how can I be? And I’m glad I’m not involved with Facebook, especially after reading a recent article in the Inquirer.
The social network has changed its policy, and will now be able to track your every move, even when you are logged out of the app. While this may come as a shock to many Facebook users (not to mention privacy-lovers), I am secretly reveling in the fact that I’m not involved in allowing the website to gather data about me from across the spectrum of my internet activity. This includes online searches and details shared with online retailers.
I live and write from Budapest ,and often wondered why I was getting adverts from travel companies urging me to travel to Budapest, or stay in its fantastic myriad of lodging possibilities. Now I know – I have been profiled. Trouble is, I don’t know how to avoid these web traps., but at least I won’t be caught in the new one by Facebook.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, the new policy “takes into account pages and places visited on Facebook (not me!), alongside browsing on the Internet at large.” Facebook is very cavalier about the move, attempting to save face (couldn’t resist the pun) by claiming this is a good thing, and that it will improve the user experience by only showing relevant adverts.
The Internet is a wonderful tool when used correctly. Unfortunately, we see too many instances where it is abused (terrorists and cyber-criminals come to mind), and caution should be the watchword. We seem to be so alone, afraid, and so absorbed with ourselves that we feel we have to constantly reach out to find out what’s happening – not content to just let the the world go by, and to just let things happen. Not only that, but we feel so self-important that we think others care about what we are presently involved in. News flash – deep down people aren’t really interested!
The saving grace may be that you can opt out for some parts of the new policy by customizing the privacy settings, we’re told. Still, too much privacy will be lost. Now if anyone can tell me how to de-list from Facebook entirely, I’m all ears…