Laurel L. Russwurm's Free Culture Blog

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

Facebook, schoolFeed, and Privacy, oh my

with one comment

Yearbook mock-up page

I don’t use Facebook Apps because they all require ridiculous permissions. I am not willing to allow anyone else to speak for me, so I’m certainly not likely to allow some software run by total strangers to post in my name.

Ever.

Even if I was willing to give permission for myself, I am certainly not prepared to give up my family and friends’ privacy.

Because I understand that I have abdicated any privacy control over anything I post on Facebook when I post anything there. No matter what “privacy setting” I choose, everything I put there is no longer private. (The same is true for most of the Internet, actually.) The problem is most people don’t understand this.

tagged

I recently got a message saying I had been “tagged” in my “high school yearbook” by a Facebook friend. This is a Facebook app called “schoolFeed” which is a “Classmates” site that exists to suck up all of our personal information.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t actually tagged by my friend, but by the schoolFeed app posting in her name. Once she signed up, the schoolFeed app would have sucked up all the information about all of her Facebook friends. Then it would send all of us these messages as it added our Facebook avatars to the appropriate schoolFeed yearbook page.

Some of us, in turn, would go to schoolFeed to see what was what, but in order to do so, we in turn would have to give the schoolFeed app all the ridiculous permissions which allows it to suck up all of *our* Facebook friends and dump *them* into the schoolFeed yearbook pages. And so on.

It is the price you pay to be on Facebook.

I looked online to see what other people were saying about SchoolFeed… Oh… SchoolFeed: The Facebook app everyone needs to avoid [Updated with SchoolFeed’s response]

But it gets worse.

Apparently the schoolFeed isn’t happy with what it can suck down from Facebook, and is now actively asking people to:

Mail us your Yearbook!
Have your yearbook professionally scanned into schoolFeed
Your yearbook will be non-destructively scanned and returned!

Oh no… schoolFeed Now Has 160,000 Yearbooks to Browse Online

SchoolFeed will now be able to access personal information about people who may not even be on the Internet. People who have never used a computer. People whose only mistake was to be pictured in the school yearbook.

I don’t know about you, but I know people who have made a conscious decision not to use computers. And some who use computers, but don’t use the Internet. And others who won’t use Facebook, Twitter, or Google, instead choosing Friendica, Identica, duckduckgo or ixQuick, not because they are Luddites, but because they value their privacy.

Every yearbook sent to schoolFeed will give it more personal information that it can use and/or sell to third parties… which may be spammers, scammers or identity thieves.

If we send our yearbooks to schoolFeed, we will be giving it personal information about our old friends and classmates without their permission.

Don’t do it.

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

January 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

One Response

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  1. I made the decision a couple of,years ago to go public. Before that my ID on the net was hidden under a bunch of pseudonyms. Which is fine for me. I knew what I was doing, it was an informed decision.

    Most people aren’t aware of how much information they are giving up. Many may never even find out.

    And that is totally wrong. We need something like the proposed EU Data Privacy Protection Legislation in Canada.

    Wayne

    Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    January 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm


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