There has been a lot written lately about Facebook privacy, or the lack thereof. It seems the entire planet got so caught up in the Facebook phenomenon, that they forgot that in the end, Facebook is a business and will continually look for ways to increase profits. To that extent, Facebook's interest in protecting customer privacy extends only to the extent that bad press could cost them business and subscriptions.
Facebook can only grow and earn money by sharing your personal information with advertisers who are willing to pay for the opportunity to leverage that information in order to entice you to do business with them. To that extent, Facebook will continue to expand your exposure. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the graphic in this post.
Facebook divides your information into the following categories:
1. Likes persons, movies, websites, odd shaped rocks (e.g., anything that you can express a preference for)
2. Personal Profile Data Name, picture, gender, birthday, contact information
3. Extended Personal Information Family members, place of birth, educational institutions, religious views, etc.
5. Networks you join such as a school or organization
6. Posts Any information you post for consumption for people other than yourself
There are also Privacy groups. Their designations, according to Facebook:
2. Your friends
3. Your friends' friends
4. Your Networks
5. All Facebook users
6. The Internet
There is also another, implied group. It turns out that Facebook will share information with third-party applications and advertisers unless you specifically block them. You should consider doing so unless you get some sort of benefit from these. You should also decide whether the exchange is of fair value your personal information in exchange for a targeted (supposedly relevant) advertisement or other application you may be interested in.
CONSIDER AND BE CAUTIOUS WITH WHAT YOU POST
Before expressing an opinion or putting up pictures you should answer the following question(s). Would you be comfortable sharing that post with your:
8. Company HR department?
9. Potential Employers?
10. The rest of the world?
If you answer "no" to any one of the above except the last one, social media such as Facebook is not the right forum for you unless you understand and take control of privacy settings. Even then, you need to be vigilant for changes in privacy policies.
IN THE END NONE OF THE PRIVACY SETTINGS ACTUALLY PROTECT YOU
You could configure your privacy settings to expressly block advertisers and applications. However, if any of your friends have not done the same, third parties can get your information through them. You need to specifically block what information your friends can share.
To block the leak, you must go to each application and block them specifically. Definitely block Yelp, Pandora, and Microsoftdocs.com applications.
There is and will continue to be a series of loopholes through which Facebook will share your information to anyone who will pay them for it. Your best defense is to limit what information you put out there.
READ FACEBOOK PARTNERS' PRIVACY POLICIES
Partners, application providers, and advertisers on Facebook have considerably less interest in honoring Facebook's commitment to your privacy. Facebook takes no responsibility for how partners use your information. Given that Facebook will gladly pass along any information you do not explicitly forbid them to, you need to watch Facebook's policies closely and continuously, as well as those of partners you may not realize you have agreed to share information with.
YOU CAN CHECK OUT ANY TIME YOU WANT BUT…↑
Deleting Facebook accounts is a popular topic. Type the letter "d" into Google and before you go any further, Google suggests "delete Facebook account." If you choose to leave, be aware that , the obvious and visible option of "Disable Account" does not remove any of your data. Facebook assumes that you made the decision in a misguided moment of temporary insanity and will want to go back. In this case, Facebook will retain all information necessary to ease the return of the "prodigal child." However, if this is not a moment of temporary insanity and you actually want to delete your account, you have to search for the option to remove your account completely, as it is buried behind a series of obscure links. The ultimate irony you can search for and join the Facebook group "How to permanently delete your Facebook account." A tutorial on how to permanently delete you account can be found in this Wikihow article.
Note that even after a deletion request, Facebook will still house your data for a while and any attempt to log in will undo your deletion.