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Facebook Graph Search: Privacy issues….

We’ve recently discussed how Google is chasing our online steps. Here you can see that they are not the only one. Question remains what becomes more important for us: privacy or social media? Let’s discuss…

Paul Bernal's Blog

thumbs-downI wrote yesterday about Facebook’s new ‘Graph Search’ system – in particular, about the way in which it is intended to convince people to put more and better data onto the system, and to lock them and businesses further into the Facebook system. What I didn’t talk about much was privacy…. not because there aren’t privacy issues with the new system, but more because there are so many privacy issues that it’s hard to know where to start.

One of the most interesting things is that as a part of the launch, Mark Zuckerberg has been very keen to stress that privacy is built into the system, even releasing information suggesting that the reason he went with Bing rather than Google for the web-search part of the service is that Google weren’t ‘privacy-friendly enough’ for him – see this piece in the Guardian. Why did he do that? Well…

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It’s not just the porn that will be over-blocked….

One more ethical issue served to us by the omniscient (!) politicians

Paul Bernal's Blog

Newsnight last night included a feature on how the recently introduced internet ‘porn-filters’ were actually blocking more than just porn. Specifically, they noted that sex-education websites, sexual health websites and so forth were being blocked by the filters. This comes as no surprise to anyone working in the area – indeed, my own blog post asking questions about porn-filters was itself blocked – but it is still good to see that the mainstream media is now taking it on board, albeit very late in the day.

It wasn’t a bad feature, but it only began to scratch the surface of the issue. It left a lot of questions unanswered and a lot of crucial issues untouched. The first of these was the suggestion, insufficiently challenged, that this over-blocking was just some sort of ‘teething trouble’. Once the systems get properly up and running, the problems will be ironed out, and…

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Celebrities vs privacy issues

The dictionary definition of a celebrity is ‘a person that enjoys public attention’. Fred Allen takes this definition even further and says ‘A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized’. Interestingly, the privacy issues arising in the world of celebs concern both statements. Some poeple even ask a question whether people who court public exposure for PR purposes relinquish their rights to privacy?

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Google, the online BigBrother

The all-seeing eye of world’s media has been recently fixed on Google, one of the largest organisations in the world. Google’s products are nearly inseparable from the online web and millions of users see them as necessary. They are well- thought, user friendly and, what is most important, free. However, what we often don’t see is that behind the curtain of innocence and brilliant PR, there are enormous corporation gears that watch every single of our online steps.

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