Wednesday, October 19, 2011
A Whole New Kind of Overshare
Photo is entitled "Facebook" by Massimo Barbieri
On Thursday, September 22, 2011, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced the newest Facebook features to come. Zuckerberg announced the new features at Facebook’s annual developers’ conference, explaining what he calls “Timeline” and “Ticker.”
According to Zuckerberg, Timeline is “the story of your life,” allowing users to fully express who they are by sharing and gathering user information in an entirely new way.
In Timeline, a user has different stories that appear at the bottom of the page on the left, while on the right side of the page, a timeline appears that basically compiles and breaks down previous user page posts from different points in time. Zuckerberg explained that these different story pages allow people to go back in time to earlier posts and feeds easily. Therefore, not only will recent shares be seen on the page, as they currently are, but posts will be organized by year, month, etc. The user will also be able to add photos and other information to these past time periods, like a scrapbook of sorts…adding information to their life that might have been missed for that period.
While Timeline appears to be a new and different way for users to gather and organize their personal information on pages, as well as efficiently view other friends’ information, the second new Facebook feature, “Ticker,” is wrought with privacy concerns.
Ticker and Open Graph are two programs that work complementary to one another. Open Graph is already existing through Facebook, and it is a map of user connections. Ticker takes Open Graph to the next step by taking everything a Facebook user is experiencing in real time and placing it on that map. Open Graph allows the user to obtain things like movies, music, games, shows, and news from different media content sources. Facebook, making it now easier through Ticker to post information to their profiles, is partnering with other companies and developers in order to stream information directly from certain sites to Facebook. What does this mean? For the Facebook user, it means that every song listened to, every movie watched, or every book read may appear on your Facebook profile page for the world to see (or at least all of your 2,000 “friends”).
Thus, without taking the extra steps to ensure that only information you want on your profile page is listed there, Facebook is taking it out of your hands by automatically wiring these things directly into your account when you log into these other sites with your Facebook account profile. Many users may decide to opt out of using Facebook for their social networking needs, as these new features could share more private matters than originally bargained for. By taking the choice out of sharing pictures, music, movies, books, and the like, Facebook may be offering more than users want, or maybe, this is exactly what this over-sharing society is looking for.
© Copyright 2010 The Journal of High Technology Law, Suffolk University Law School
Suite 450B | 120 Tremont Street | Boston | MA | 02108-4977 | Legal and Copyright Information