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Privacy in social media – an impossible dream?

The issue of privacy in social media is becoming a very ‘hot’ topic. Recently, emails have been whizzing around about LinkedIn changing their terms and conditions so that – unless you opt out – people could be used in their adverts without their knowledge.

Then yesterday this message came from Google:

“We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at http://www.google.com/policies/

They say that their privacy policy has not changed but that it is now going to be easier to share information across all the Google platforms. It all sounds very positive but one cannot help feeling that the ‘devil may be in the detail’!

Last summer it was reported that 100,000 British users deactivated their Facebook accounts during May, reducing the total number to 29.8 million. And apparently six million logged off for good in America in the same period.

While doubtless some of these had become bored with social media generally or Facebook in particular, anecdotal evidence (from forums and blogs) highlights that many were concerned over privacy issues.

Whatever the truth, the issue of privacy in social media is not going to go away.

Josh Hamit