On Facebook security loophole

There is a newspaper article today about a Facebook security loophole warning. Well, I read the article and it was all very lame, unless of course you don’t have any common sense.

The “loophole” is nothing more than opening your profile up (or having a friend in your personal network open up the profile) to the whole Facebook community. The article then goes on to say how some people accepted friendship invitations from bogus people. The warning is that personal information could be made available to “outsiders”. It’s also true that people still send lots of money in response to bogus Nigerian e-mail scams!

I know I shouldn’t be too critical – digital indentity is an important issue and something I am particularly interested in. However, I must say, the only “loophole” is a decision made by a member of the community to choose to open up a profile or personal network to the wider community – or “outsiders” as one wag put it. Sure, some people will be less careful than others and this is the risk one takes in participating in such networks. People need to decide what information about themselves can be disclosed in these forums.

Dave Birch in the digital identity forum makes some salient points in a recent blog post on social networking good/bad. Dave Birch also has a book out on digital identity management that could be well worth a look. [BTW, the 8th annual Digital Identity Forum will be be held in London, 20-21 November 2007].

Some common sense is necessary in any communication forum, whether it’s publicising one’s share trade or mother’s hysterectomy operation to everyone on a suburban train over the mobile phone. Likewise, it’s just as important when disposing of sensitive personal documents, like bank statements, medical records, and credit card bills.

I suppose Twitter will be in the media’s sights soon for telling everyone where they might be at a certain moment…..


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