Maybe your grandma was right about Facebook after all. In a new policy known as “frictionless sharing” Facebook will become a full representation of your life, whether you want it to or not.
As part of the new changes to Facebook’s profile, users’ activities are automatically noted in the news feed “ticker,” allowing friends to see the latest book you read or album you listened to. Basically any third-party application you use on your smartphone will no longer need your permission to post updates to your Facebook account. Those of you listening to Britney Spears’ latest bubble gum hit, your friends will know. Reading an article about Rick Perry on the Washington Post’s website? Everyone you are friends will know.
These are all features of the new “Timeline” profiles, which will be rolling out in the coming weeks. The site will become a chronological string of what you were doing, when, how and why. Facebook has time-lined each and every status, photo, shared content, “likes” and interaction users have made on the site in a clickable format.
While Facebook claims it has worked with various privacy groups to ensure that the new profile is as user privacy sensitive as possible, several public interest groups have voiced complaints against the new tell all approach. At least 10 privacy groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook’s business standards. In addition, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner has agreed to conduct a privacy audit of Facebook after a report surfaced that the site had a “tracking cookies,” which could track logged-out users across the web. The social network first denied the claim, only to later acknowledge that it had fixed the issue.
While Facebook’s latest profile update is currently only available to developers in beta phase, the change will hit all users worldwide soon enough.
So what do you think about Mark Zuckerberg’s latest attempt to make Facebook more than just an outlet to connect with old friends on? Chime in in the Brighthand forums.