well – unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg that is.
Though it was all based on a whimsical tweet by a Facebook employee – it’s really no surprise. The entire model of facebook is based on maximising growth to increase the impressions and increase the value of the network to advertisers. Restrictive privacy settings of course tend to have a….well…detrimental effect on that kind of model.
Time will tell if Facebook will be able to jump the location hurdle as easily as many others they have cleared – what with federal probes in the US and articles like this one highlighting the EU position on privacy vis-a-vis location…Zuckerberg’s lackadaisical attitude will not go over well.
Location sharing (as I’ve said on this blog before) – mixes the real with the virtual in an unprecedented way. (if you don’t accept that this is revolutionary consider this paranoid overstatement…no matter what you tweet, blog post, say on skype, vimeo, youtube etc – no random person can kill you because of your opinions – because if for no other reason…no one knows where you are)
The second you add your location as a component to a discussion you effectively make your online presence REAL which means that behaviours become more REAL because the implications can be direct upon your being.
Privacy is something we take very seriously at echoecho – and it’s not just about having privacy settings.
What good are privacy settings if nobody uses them?
It’s about having privacy settings with appropriate defaults and designing your software and your business model to encourage responsible behaviour…not to trick users into revealing more information than they want.