May 14 2010

Facebook: It’s All About the Data

Categories: General, Rants Dave Rathbun @ 5:59 pm

Whether you’re a Facebook user or not (I am not) it has been hard to avoid the furor recently over some of the changes the service is making. One article at Newsweek.com says:

The fear is that people are being lured into Facebook with the promise of a fun, free service, and don’t realize that they’re paying for it by giving up loads of personal information.

Why is Facebook in hot water now, when other Internet-based companies like Amazon have been collecting and using our personal data for years? Maybe it’s because Amazon doesn’t automatically add new apps to your profile if you browse other sites while logged into their service. (Facebook reportedly allows this, although some articles are now providing responses from Facebook that dispute exactly how this process is supposed to work.)

I’m not writing this post to bash Facebook (you can probably find plenty of that already). I’m writing this post because I wanted to share an interesting visualization that I found from an author named Matt McKeon. He shows how the privacy settings for Facebook have broadened over the years. He also admits that some of the data had to be “made up” because he does not have access to hard numbers from Facebook, so read the information with that in mind. Continue reading “Facebook: It’s All About the Data”