Facebook Privacy Progress and Pitfalls
Facebook Gets Tough on Email Scams
In a positive move, Facebook filed lawsuits recently against the scammers hitting its site and its users.
The three lawsuits filed name people and a company and accuse them of tricking Facebook users into visiting internet marketing websites.
In one of the scams, they created fake "dislike" buttons that then hijacked the user's account and sometimes their money.
There was a fake "Facebook Gold Account" offering slick features but really just took their data and sold it.
A reminder to us all that when something seems to good to be true, it probably is!
Source: "Facebook sues over free gift card,'dislike' button scams", Robert McMillan, MacWorld, October 21, 2010.
Facebook Breach Raises Questions on Capitol Hill
There are 500 Million Facebook users.
The Wall Street Journal reported that your information was being transmitted to marketing firms.
In response, U.S. Representatives Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), sent a letter to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
The WSJ noted an excerpt from that letter which expressed concerns that "third-party applications gathered and transmitted personally identifiable information about Facebook users and those users' friends."
The letter requests that Mr. Zuckerberg provide information such as:
1. how many people were affected
2. when Facebook knew about it, and
3. permanent changes Facebook will make to prevent further issues.
Source: "More Questions for Facebook", Wall Street Journal, Geoffrey A. Fowler, October 18, 2010.
Facebook Falls Short When it Comes to Child Predators
Fox News did an investigation researching how well Facebook handles and blocks child predators.
Once they completed their research, they showed 2 Facebook executives, the screens they found that show predators are getting through to kids.
The researchers found that by entering "PTHC" which is shorthand for Pre Teen Hard Core, they were shown graphic images.
There is a database of words and terms that has been created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
This database can be accessed by programs like Facebook to alert them anytime a cybercreep is using terms or words that are clearly linked to child predator activity.
The Fox News research found child pornography as well. Facebook is committed to reviewing and enhancing their filters.
This is a complex issue and you cannot make Facebook the bad guy here.
You are your kid's first line of defense. Be active on your kid's page. Keep their profile secure. Monitor their wall and friends' list.
Source: "Facebook Falls Short In Blocking Pedophiles", Fox News, October 21, 2010.
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