Has Facebook gone too far?

Did you know you can buy Facebook sneakers? Would you wear them? ..or has Facebook gone too far?

But seriously, a couple of things have gone down in Facebook-Town of late that have caused a stir amongst its users and those in the tech sphere this week.

Face recognition technology.

Facebook acquired Israeli startup facial recognition company Face.com last week. The acquisition doesn’t close for a few more weeks but has created some waves amongst the online community. But what does this mean for users? The technology behind Face.com helps people tag their own photos with ease and discover photos of themselves and their friends they never knew were out there in the ether. The software can also determine ages and the moods of individuals in pictures.

An article on Mashable.com proposes the software also has the potential to decipher behaviour and preferences by recognising brands featured in your pics. That is scary stuff me thinks.

However, it’s no secret that Facebook is diving head-first down the advertising rabbit hole (right behind Google) targeting its ads according to the pages you like and the movements you make online. You can be forgiven for feeling as though Orwell’s fiction had become reality with your every move scrutinised by Big Brother but, hey, eventually you’ll get used to the idea.  You can always choose to converse elsewhere? Most people just ignore the ads anyway. But when it comes to the adoption of facial recognition technology, many users feel Facebook has stepped over the line and have spoken out saying it could seriously impinge on their right to privacy.

Introduction of @facebook.com email addresses.

The second big deal this week in Facebook news is the introduction of @facebook.com email addresses. Facebook says its a way to improve email address privacy. According to a piece in tech blog TechCrunch.com “Facebook has screwed up big time..” by forcing people to use their Facebook Messages Inbox instead of their personal email inboxes.

If you have set your account settings to publicly display your email address, your personal email address has been automatically changed to username@facebook.com. It’s being argued that this will make it more difficult for friends to contact you via third-party email unless you adjust your privacy settings.

I think this is a good change and agree with Facebook that it has improved my privacy. I don’t want my email address out there for all to see. And if people want to reach me who don’t know me very well, they can definitely send me a message on Facebook.

How do you feel about these changes? Do you think it will affect your privacy?

Please feel free to comment below.

Ellis Jones knows social media. Contact us to keep abreast of what’s happening in the online space.