Privacy on the Internet . . . and me

As I was writing the previous post (Privacy on the Internet) it got me thinking about how I approach posting things online. I have a ton of stuff online about myself and am easily findable with a quick Google search. (At the moment 6/10 (without middle initial) and 8/10 (with) of the first page of results are about me.

Even though I’m all over the place, I’m still taking advantage of privacy controls, and I’m trying not to post things that I think could cause me trouble down the line. (There was an exception to that rule for several months.) But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to balance the desire to be out there,  making myself findable and accessible, with the desire to control who can see the details. Continue reading

Privacy on the internet

Hand-in-hand with my interest in social software and social networking technologies is an interest in privacy on the internet. Slowly but surely, the landscape is changing.

We’ve all seen the news stories about people who have lost their jobs because of a blog post or something on a profile on MySpace or Facebook. But here’s a new twist: earlier this month, Read Write Web reported on a college student who not only lost a student teaching job because of a photo & caption on her MySpace profile, but as a result her college converted some credits to change her degree in education to one in English. I haven’t looked up anything else on this story, but as RWW reports, the situation is a little more complex than a simple matter of the woman in question not using her privacy settings (which she obviously hadn’t been). It sounds like there were some disagreements between her and her supervising teacher, and the article hints at the possibility that the woman either wasn’t cut out for high school teaching, or she didn’t receive the kind of mentoring one would expect while in a student teaching position. Anyway, I can’t really comment on this case much more than that, but Abby and I got to talking about it. Continue reading

Block Facebook Beacon

Found via librarian.net, instructions on how to block Facebook Beacon on the browser level (in Firefox). Beacon is one of the things powering the new Facebook social ads. Go read more about how it works, and why you might want to do more than just adjust the privacy settings in Facebook. (Which you can’t even do until one of the external websites using Facebook Beacon tries to send stuff to your profile, thus rendering the privacy settings nearly useless, in my opinion.)