John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Facebook Privacy Options Chart Would Make a Great Halloween Corn Maze

As cavalier as it sounds, Facebook’s advice to users concerned about its privacy policies and practices–“If you’re not comfortable sharing, don’t.”–might seem unassailable. But as counsel, it’s pretty weak coming from a company with a privacy policy longer than the United States Constitution and a set of privacy tools that couldn’t be more Byzantine if they were designed by the International Labyrinth Society.

Consider this graphic from the New York Times, which shows the proliferation of options available in those tools (click chart to link to larger version on original site).

Addles the brain, doesn’t it?

As the Times notes, to opt out of full disclosure of most of their personal information, Facebook users must click through more than 50 privacy buttons, which then require making decisions about more than 170 options.

Facebook describes its privacy tools as “comprehensive and precise,” but that’s poor justification for something so ridiculously convoluted from a company that positions itself as a caretaker of identity.

Little wonder that Facebook is facing a barrage of criticism. As European Union’s Article 29 Working Party said in a scathing letter today, Facebook’s privacy practices are “unacceptable.”

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik