Every week we seem to hear more about the crazy Facebook privacy (lack of) settings and how most people don’t bother to or know how to check them. I came across an interesting site today that shows just how open your posts can be on FaceBook, if you are not very careful with your settings. Your Open Book scrapes the Facebook site via the search API which was made available by Facebook on April 21, 2010. The kicker is you don’t have to be logged into Facebook to use the search although you do get to see the users full profile if you are logged in when you click on the user.
If you are concerned that your settings are wrong or too permissive, RecalimPrivacy.org has a nice tool that can show you how how public your profile really is.
I have thought about deleting my Facebook account and I am looking for another way to keep in contact with those I have reconnected with. I may end up doing something with my own site with some type of RSS feed and I am closely following the Diaspora Project which is a distributed open source alternative to Facebook. It is in it’s VERY early stages but looks interesting. Now there is no guarantee that these four guys won’t turn evil but I an an optimist and choose to believe that these four guys will choose to do the right thing and listen to the public.
In the meantime I have deleted most of my information off the Facebook site (even though I know it is not gone and Facebook has hundreds of backups of that info for their own use) in an attempt to limit my exposure, in addition to locking down the settings as much as possible.
If you are thinking about quitting and want to make at least a small statement, QuitFacebookDay has popped up on the web to count the users who are pledging the delete their accounts on May 31, 2010.
Are you leaving Facebook?