Technology and Business Law Blog

Social Networking’s End?

Social networking is one of the most popular market segments in terms of business and even from a consumer perspective. Almost everyday a new social networking site seems to pop up somewhere in the world and I receive requests on a regular basis to join one or the other and so what do I do — I don’t join any of them. I am worried about scattering my personal information all over the cyberspace and having it infiltrate and stored in places and in hands of people I wouldn’t it to be in.

Another reason is that once you are a member of all these various sites then it is hard to remember all the different passwords and logins and what information I gave out where. Third, but most important is that I am sheer lazy.

The popularity of social networking has a direct impact on the loss of privacy and in the U.S. the most popular sites are Facebook and MySpace and both of them allow  third party developers to set up different applications like playing poker, getting daily horoscopes and sending one another virtual cocktails and according to this article in Washington Post

But it is often difficult to tell when developers are breaking the rules by, for example, storing members’ data for more than 24 hours, said Adrienne Felt, who recently studied Facebook security at the University of Virginia.

She examined 150 of the most popular Facebook applications to find out how much data could be gathered. Her research, which was presented at a privacy conference last month, found that about 90 percent of the applications have unnecessary access to private data.

If developers and others whom the Facebook user does not know and did not intend to give out their information gets hold of it, there is no saying what the information is being used for.

I get a feeling that once this euphoria of online social networking cools down in about 5-7 years especially when people see that their private information has been misused one way or the other and it has an affects on their lives then people will revert back to good old fashioned getting to know one another on  a personal basis networking.

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June 12, 2008 Posted by | Facebook, privacy, Social networking | , , , | 1 Comment

Google’s Social Networking Site: Friends Connect

 

According to wikipedia, Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies and Web 3.0 is a term used to describe the future of the World Wide Web. Following the introduction of the phrase “Web 2.0” as a description of the recent evolution of the Web, many technologists, journalists, and industry leaders have used the term “Web 3.0″ to hypothesize about a future wave of Internet innovation.

The latest social networking tool from Google called ‘Friends Connect” seems to combine both web 2.0 and web 3.0 and has made social networking more accessible to all, just about anyone who uses the world wide web. The new era is all about open channels of communication and creativity and Google has once again cleared the pathway for it. Using Google’s new Friend Connect product, any Web page, whether it is devoted to curling or pizza or a folk singer, can allow visitors to make and connect with other “friends” who visit that site. Like any major social network today, any Web page using Friend Connect could easily present to each user the names and pictures of friends and potential friends. Those people could then post messages to one another. Read here.

Dan Fraber in his article in news.com says Google has been taking a more open and distributed approach with its OpenSocial API, which allows compliant applications to work across any social network. By extension, Friend Connect would provide glue to allow any site to add a social dimension and build connections to other social networks.

From the looks of it Friends Connect seems simpler to set up and use than Facebook or MySpace since with Friend Connect, the owner of a Web site would add a snippet of code to its page. Google’s servers would handle the rest.

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 3 Comments

Alias Persona for Social Networkworking Sites

One size does not fit all, and we change our behaviour, speech, style of dressing etc to fit the environment we are in and that is what users of social networking sites are doing. After years of throwing out inhibitions and displaying a sense of freedom by sharing all their personal and even intimate happenings on social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, these users mostly younger ones are scaling back and being cautious about what they want “the world” to know about them. That is right I did use the term “the world” since what we share in these networks is no way private and the so called ‘friends’ are not like intimate people who will safeguard all that is revealed in the sites, plus now that most of these social networking sites are pretty popular and open to all, the information shared on it it, is out there for the world to see. The teenagers are being affected by it since employers and others who need to ‘check out’ them out have the information right there for them to access and not all of it is viewed in their best interests.

Even though the companies like Facebook discourage alias accounts,  people are using them to avoid prying eyes and letting few confidants  know their real identity. It is almost like the saying ” Live and Learn.” Privacy is real important especially when there are no real laws to protect our online safety and when the information we put out there is used to our detriment.

“Other people in their 20s and even teenagers are doing the same, assuming online aliases on such sites as Facebook and MySpace to avoid the prying eyes of parents, college recruiters, potential employers and other overly interested strangers. They are also being more selective in who they allow in as “friends” by paring back the size of their social circles.” Read here.

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment