The Ottawa Sun and others are reporting on the findings of an investigation into Facebook’s privacy policies, which are apparently not up to code as far as Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is concerned. When you add that application that figures out which member of the Monkees you are, the info you submit might be going places it wasn’t meant to go. There are also some concerns about what Facebook is doing with the information given to it by its users. The study was launched by some University of Ottawa law students about a year ago. If Facebook doesn’t instigate measures that comply with the study’s findings within 30 days, they could be taken to Federal Court.
The Internet represents so many wide open nooks and crannies for people to take advantage of identity theft that I’m surprised we haven’t thus far seen much greater attention paid to how it affects its users. Canada lost over $16 million in 2006 thanks to the abuse of personal information. The Ontario Ministry of Small Business and Consumers has set up a website with information on how to avoid identity theft and the steps you should take if your identity is stolen.
I hope I never have to go through something like that. A few years ago I had to sort out the disappearance of $100 from my bank account. I got the money back, but the thought that someone took it from me in a manner beneath my notice is kind of disturbing. I only ever enter personal information on sites that I know and trust. If it seems fishy, it probably is.
Plus, I hate those Facebook apps. I’d rather just assume I’m Peter Tork.