Sep 302010

Facebook: The privacy saga continues

I love Seth Godin because his posts, although usually short, tend to linger in my thoughts.  I have been thinking about one post in particular since I read it last week: Do you actually care about privacy?

I like privacy.  I’m evenly divided when it comes to surprises.  I like them when they’re good.  I don’t like them when they’re bad.  What I don’t care for is the illusion of privacy.

Facebook does not so much surprise me with it’s lack of privacy as it offers me the illusion of privacy.  Yes, they have made it clear to us that they prefer the opt-out as opposed to opt-in model.  But they were originally a fairly homogeneous closed network, so by definition there were walls, and those walls offered privacy.  When you blow a door through the wall and let in everyone things change.

The thing that frustrates me about Facebook’s view of privacy is that I like Facebook as a place to be with my friends.  I think this was their original intention.  But now everyone is on Facebook and I need a way to easily and obviously filter both what I see and what I share.  I feel a sense of ownership (right or wrong) over my “place” on Facebook and it irritates me that I can’t take better advantage of what could be an awesome way of keeping in touch with friends.

What do you think? Is this just semantics? Do you care about privacy?