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How Facebook Has Changed Our Idea Of 'Too Much Information'

Publication Date: 
June 28, 2010
Source: 
San Jose Mercury News
Author: 
Scott Duke Harris

Ryan Calo, a residential fellow at the Center for Internet & Society, is quoted on how Facebook has changed the nature of privacy on the Internet. Scott Duke Harris of the San Jose Mercury News filed this story:

The other day on the Internet, one man's Facebook circle received a public service announcement of sorts: This goes out to any girl that ive ever been with. I got tested today for Herpes and i came out positive.

Privacy just isn't what it used to be.

With Facebook at the forefront, social networking companies with business models hungry for personal data and a youthful generation raised on the Internet seem to be pulling the 21st century toward a more "transparent" culture, in the approving words of Mark Zuckerberg, the social networking giant's 26-year-old founder. Facebook's stated mission: "Giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." In other words, letting more people know more about each other.

...

People report in studies that they care deeply about privacy," said Ryan Calo, a fellow at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society. "But then people don't seem to act in a way that protects their privacy."

...

"Right now, many companies are trying to get as much information as they can because it's so valuable," Calo said. Consumers would find reason for pause, he suggested, if they contemplated "these privacy policies that nobody reads."