Monday, August 23, 2010

Facebook Places: Ability to tag users without their permission

Facebook places currently available in the US, allows users to tag other without their prior express permission. How and why is this a problem and what impact does this really have. Consider this scenario for a moment, you have invited all your friends out for dinner and innocently tag everybody at that diner in a Facebook Places update and share with all your friends on Facebook. Innocent enough, imagine the various impacts it might have. How many people have made excuses to be there for the dinner; maybe a friend has left work early, telling his boss there is an emergency. His Boss could be his friend on Facebook - result fried. Each person sitting on that dinner table might have made some excuse to have made time to be there; telling their partners and co-workers half-truths to make themselves available.

So now everyone knows where they really are based on an update from a friend. So what is wrong with Facebook places. This is just one broad case scenario, there are definitely 1000s' of other cases. Most people are not even fully aware about the possibilities of Facebook places to spread info fast, far and wide. There seems to be a small mistake and that is the ability for users to expressly agree to be tagged in Facebook Places updated. 

Suddenly your friends know everything about you including where you are and what your doing. OK, if there is some agreement but bad for people who want a bit of privacy reserved for their lives. So take care, this is not to start another Facebook privacy issue. Just a cautionary note to be careful. 

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  1. Good shout but if you go into your privacy settings, at least in the UK, you just have to 'disable' the 'friends can check me into places'. I've also been writing about privacy, linked also to Places -

  2. Yes your right. You can now adjust your Facebook places privacy settings.

  3. Have also written a post on How to adjust your Facebook Places privacy settings found here.