Monday, September 24, 2007

Who's watching you?

There you are, gaily adding all those little apps to Facebook, which Facebook says it doesn't support. Throwing sheep, buying drinks for your friends, battling it out with Zombies and Vampires and telling the world how you feel every five minutes.

Originally, Facebook was aimed at college kids and professed to confer privacy in a way that MySpace couldn't. Then its reach widened, so that even wizened, well, not so wizened, but certainly elderly people like me could join up too.

I've been amazed to see what some of my peers get up to on Facebook.

You thought you were safe didn't you. It was all harmless fun and a bit of jollity between friends.

Think again. Facebook is opening up to Google search, so anybody could find anybody. Which means that when you apply for a job somewhere and you get offered an interview, the company can undertake reverse research and find out all about you online. Just like you're supposed to research the company ready for those trick questions face to face.

Think of all that personal information in Facebook and MySpace. Is that the image you would want to present to your employer? It's already forced me to revise my profile, hoping against hope that the searcher doesn't use The Internet Archive as well.

Oh, and before we get on to targeted advertising from Google, both Facebook and MySpace intend to do it too.