Last week at Facebook’s f8 conference in San Francisco, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, announced several changes to Facebook including the removal of the Facebook Connect feature and the introduction of a more integrated share, like and recommendation system, creating a more intimate relationship between Facebook and popular sites such as Levis, NHL, among the many.
According to a Facebook post about the changes, Austin Haugen, a product manager for Facebook noted that, “none of your personal data is shared with a site when you view these new features, and they will only be visible to you when you’re logged in to Facebook. Also, none of these features impact or change Facebook’s advertising programs or policies.”
Facebook has addressed the privacy concerns, that’s good, but as Facebook becomes more integrated across the Web, I find myself a little overwhelmed by the level connectivity and amount of information Facebook has access to, and how that will affect my “digital footprint”.
A blog post by Scobleizer titled Facebook’s Ambition, is very interesting and outlines several of the negative implications this could have:
“My fears are that Facebook might turn evil and use its position against organizations, the way that Apple locks out organizations from shipping apps (do you have Google Voice app on your iPhone yet? I don’t). Imagine if Facebook wanted to turn off the New York Times, for instance. It could. And that’s a LOT of power to give to one organization, even one that’s earned my trust like Facebook has. This is why I keep hoping Google has a clue (so far it hasn’t).”
The blog post puts Facebook in the same context as Google’s Database of Intentions, as John Battelle does in his book The Search. The pure amount of information Facebook holds is tremendous, and the increasing level on information sharing is getting quite excessive. Yes, to some level I enjoying knowing what my friends “like” and what they are doing online, but I don’t want to be bombarded with this information on practically every website I visit.
As of now, many are very excited to see what is in store for Facebook over the next few months. Check out this video clip by Pandora’s CTO, Tom Conrad.