Facebook has come under some criticism lately because of the way the website handles personal information and how easy it is for this information to be hidden or displayed on profiles of the users. Facebook have recently decided to change the way users can show their personal information, via the use of a privacy control feature that will allow users to share their personal information with either their friends, friends of friends of the entire internet.
Facebook has also come under fire for sharing this personal information with third party advertising websites, and some privacy groups want the law toughened to make the sharing of this information illegal, along the lines of the privacy laws for email. The amount of data that Facebook has collected means that information will be sold at a profit, instead of being kept secure for privacy reasons. The privacy issues that internet users face today are to do with the amount of personal data that is required to register for some of these social networking services.
This data could be used for identity theft and fraudulent activities, should the information end up in the hands of unscrupulous webmasters. Identity theft and online fraud are becoming more prevalent, therefore social networking sites need to deal with security issues about the website, as well as ensure the security and privacy of users’ personal information. Facebook and other social networking sites could try to take a more proactive stance regarding the privacy issues and the way they handle personal information about their users.
They could also use a standard set of rules for how personal information is displayed on a profile that set all the defaults to display only a basic set of information, unless the user chooses to display other aspects of their personal data. This system would still enable users to display their personal data, but would allow those users who are not familiar with privacy issues to be protected from the day they create their social networking account.