Facebook Glitches Validate Privacy Concerns

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Recent glitches with Facebook isn’t likely to deter college students from using the wildly (and widely) popular social media platform. Founded by a Harvard student, Facebook has been embraced and advanced by young users who consider it “their thing” or this generation’s gift to the world.

FacebookIn many ways they are right. With more than 400 million registered users there isn’t anything else out there quite like Facebook. Facebook is redefining the way we communicate, transforming the web in ways not seen since, well, Google.

Golfing Metaphor

But Google seems a lot like golf living legend Tiger Woods lately–vulnerable–which makes Facebook comparable to Phil Mickelson. Woods is yesterday’s shining star while Mickelson has emerged as today’s top player. Though Google has not officially ceded leadership to Facebook, for many users their day begins and ends with Facebook. Facebook seems to be on their way to having their Mickelson moment; can you hear the crowd roaring?

The Facebook trajectory has everyone on earth using it by, oh, let’s say 2015 (I am exaggerating) but that sharp ascendancy is vulnerable to glitches and privacy concerns, two of which were made very apparent this week.

Hot Chat

On Wednesday, Tech Crunch discovered a problem with Facebook before Facebook discovered the problem themselves. For a few hours on Wednesday, a bug surfaced allowing any user to read the live chats of their Facebook friends. Through this exploit, users could also find out about their friends’ own pending friend requests and which friends they shared in common.

In other words, a whole lot of private information you may not have wanted to share suddenly became available to others, that is if you happened to be chatting at the time the exploit surfaced. Facebook temporarily disabled the chat feature once the problem came to their attention, restoring chat only after its engineers uploaded a fix.

Bogey!

App This

On Thursday, PC World uncovered an issue with Facebook that should make you cringe. In this case, certain Facebook apps have been automatically loaded to user profiles without their knowledge. Just as Malware sneaks in and does its damage, Facebook decided to allow apps for certain sites you visit while using Facebook to appear on your site.

What this means is if you visited Gizmodo, Jalopnik, The New York Times and a host of other sites while using Facebook, your visit could very well have triggered an app to that site being added to your profile. Worse, there isn’t any sort of opt-out feature to prevent that from happening.

Double-bogey!

19th Hole

Facebook usually reacts quickly to problems as they become known, but that doesn’t mean that the user should be swilling a few with friends and forgetting that their private information might suddenly become available for public consumption if a glitch surfaces.

Tiger Woods has learned just how much certain life choices have impacted his ability to remain at the top of his game, something Facebook needs to keep in mind as they overtake Google. We’re all just one stupid mistake away from blowing it, making a move that will allow someone else to pound the greens.

Fore!

Adv. — Visit OfftoCollege.com for your private student loan info.

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