Privacy concerns over changes at Google and Facebook

Google introduces a new privacy and data aggregation policy for all of its platforms and Facebook makes its Timeline feature mandatory for all of its users. Both of these changes raise privacy concerns for millions of users worldwide. Bryan DeVasher, social media editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, interviewed me on the consequences of the new policies and how to protect ones privacy.

The following is an excerpt from DeVasher’s article “Mandatory changes for Facebook, Google users reignite debate” that ran on Friday:

Marcus Messner, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes in social media, says users should use their preview time to review their posts.

“While Timeline does not change a Facebook user’s privacy settings, it makes previously hidden content newly available,” he said. “Let’s say you made an outrageous comment during the 2008 presidential election that was long forgotten because visitors to the profile would have to dig through page after page to get to it. Through the features of Timeline, this comment now becomes accessible again.”

Facebook users should always be cognizant of their privacy settings, Messner says.

“People, especially teenagers and college students, need to understand that they should protect their identity on social media by enabling their privacy settings,” he said. “A Facebook profile should not be available to be viewed by anyone, but only by people you know and trust.”

Please read the complete story on the website of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


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