Facebook and Privacy Law

Securing your privacy on the Web is a tenuous proposition at best. The more so when you participate in certain online activities like chat, email and now, Facebook. The site is alleged to have been breaking a Canadian privacy law otherwise known as The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. This law only allows the retention of personal information by companies when it is still necessary to meet appropriate purposes. Facebook, however, retains such personal information even after the termination of its service such as after an account has been deactivated or closed.

It’s not a secret that I’m fond of social media like Twitter. Hardly a day passes by without me sending tweets about links that I just discovered in the Web or in Twitter itself. And since Facebook is another form of social media, I have also been looking at it. But privacy has always been a concern. This is aggravated in Facebook due to the ever so popular applications. These applications made Facebook popular but are also a privacy concern since there are few restrictions on data access.

The privacy officer seems to be saying that people come to Facebook to share information and not to hide them. I don’t know if there are other ways of interpreting that statement but to me, what the officer is trying to say in effect is that privacy is not much of a concern there. I beg to differ. When someone joins a social networking site like Facebook, it may be true that she does not intend to hide information but I’m also sure that she also does not want to share it with just about anybody in the world.

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