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Jan-01-2011 14:00printcomments

Facebook and Privacy

Experts in the field of Internet privacy generally agree that Internet privacy does not really exist.

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(SAN FRANCISCO) - I am not here to bash Facebook. (Did I hear Mark Zuckerberg’s sigh of relief?) However, I do want to sound a note of caution to present and future Facebook users.

I have a Facebook account. I only include publicly available information such as, for example, my Salem-News articles. Even if I had dirty laundry, I wouldn't air it on Facebook, nor would I disclose intimate details of my life. I am always surprised, however, what some of my "friends" disclose on Facebook.

"Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." Now this sounds like a worthy mission.  But know what you are signing up for when you join Facebook by reading its “terms” and “privacy,” which can be found at the bottom of  the Facebook page.

A little background on Facebook: Zuckerberg is the founder, CEO, and 24 percent owner of Facebook, a privately-held company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Facebook has almost 600 million users, nearly a twelfth of the world’s population. In a single day about one billion pieces of content are posted on Facebook.

Nearly half of Americans are on Facebook, but 70 percent of Facebook users live outside the United States. Facebook is operative in 75 languages.

Facebook's 2010 revenues are expected to reach $2 billion, which puts it on par with Google and ahead of Yahoo. It has just started to reach its earning potential; it has an estimated present value of $55 billion but could reach $200 billion by 2015.

Generally companies are free to compile and sell personal information, once that information becomes public.  Experts in the field of Internet privacy generally agree that Internet privacy does not really exist. Privacy advocates believe that it should exist.  For example, the Federal Trade Commission convened a series of public roundtable discussions about the issue of online privacy, which will result in a staff report.

The following websites are informative on the subject of internet privacy:

_______________________________________________ writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address

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Josh Akers January 2, 2011 9:06 am (Pacific time)

so, the trend is heading toward less privacy rather than more? Why am I not surprised?

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