How comfortable are you in sharing personal information on social networking sites such as facebook?


My personal reasons for discomfort are not quite related to the idea of 'surveillance'. What bothers me most is that while bits of information that trickle from us over a period of time onto the web may be used to profile me - one, by corporations looking to derive profit from it and two, by individuals such as acquaintances, friends, relatives, family, workplace colleagues etc.

What bothers me is that while one can be in control over what 'image' they project to the outside world based on level of comfort, context and tone of interaction with various individuals and organizations, it becomes moot when someone can create a 'full' profile or an image of an individual based on these little bits of information that have trickled from the subject in question onto the web over years. With more and more websites maintaining more and more information about a user on their servers for various reasons, it is potentially possible for an image being constructed of an individual based on their browsing preferences interests, etc.

So while little bits of information like even a simple "like" feature on facebook for instance which may seem innocuous at the time, may add up to building a larger profile of a person. And while I don't much care about organizations doing this for profit (as long as I don't get spammed), I do care about who is seeing my actions. Because I think that when we assimilate information from a stream like a facebook timeline, or a bunch of comments or even which articles one is reading/has read, etc. this information is assimilated as a whole and not in little bits. The whole idea of a feature like "timeline" on facebook for instance is to provide a chronological and consolidated view of what a certain individual has been up to on facebook. And given that it is one of the largest soc. net. sites around, chances are that you'd be surprised how you 'look' when you see your own timeline after a year or two of activity on the site. Mostly, it suddenly seems like one is not in control and those tiny little actions, comments, likes etc. have constructed an image of him/her that one may not want public.

Subhrajit Roy

It's unthinkable for me! I mean anyone has access to your photos. I mean not everyone has only friends in their friends list on FB. a lot of them are friends who are made on FB and then they have access to your photos and can download/save them and use them! the thought is scary!

I have my photos on my FB only coz it's STRICTLY a family account!