I have read a number of pieces lately suggesting that we are not Facebook customers. Instead we are their products for their advertising masters and that they care more about our social graphs than anything else. While they make our data open, they are not open about how they use our data and so on.
Douglas Rushkoff has an interesting piece about the key commercial drivers of the Facebook board.
And The Guardian has highlighted data issues that Facebook is facing including the launch of a European online campaign, calling for Facebook to be more open about the data it is holding on us and what it is doing with it. This was set up by someone from Ireland who discovered that Facebook still had controversial personal data which he had consciously deleted.
The Europe online Facebook campaign site is here.
Facebook is going to be have to be careful on the data issues. Even my teenage daughter (a Facebook diehard) complained the other day that it changes too much. I asked her if she would ever leave Facebook and she said no because everyone is there.
I like Facebook – it is changing the world in so many positive ways – look at some of the events in the Middle East, for example. I enjoy the easy connections with other people. It was great to get birthday greetings recently from old school friends around the world via Facebook.
However the extent to which our data is being used by all these exciting new social technologies needs to be explored and monitored. We are busy using it and there needs to be proper protection in place.
Facebook wants us to be open with our data. Then it should be open too about how it is using our data. Sounds reasonable to me.