Grown Up Digital

9 February 2009

Don Tapscott’s new book, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, includes a brief description of Adrienne Felt’s work on social network privacy:

I’m still worried, though, and I’m not alone. According to Adrienne Felt, the coauthor of a 2007 study on social networking privacy, the new measures do not fix a key problem. You can decide which of your friends can see what on your profile, and you can stop the applications that your friends install from peering into your Facebook world. But, if you install an application — say, a photo editing application that lets you put Angelina Jolie’s hairdo on your best friend’s high school graduation picture — the maker of that application can see anything you put on your profile, like your dating interest, your summer plans, your political views, your photos, the works. The only way to stop the application developers from peering into your own Facebook world, Felt says, is to not put any applications on your personal profile. The vast majority of applications don’t need your private data to do their thing, she notes, and yet all of them have access to whatever you can see. [footnote that references our Privacy by Proxy paper]

I tried the book’s website, but get:

PHP has encountered an Access Violation at 7C81BD02

Perhaps the digital world is not fully grown up yet!