Facebook, the massive Internet repository of what you are having for lunch and how many coins you have just won on FarmVille, has launched new “group” functions to ensure that users have more control over the information that they give to Facebook to hawk to the highest bidder.
“It is not our information. It is people's information. We just have this strong philosophical belief in distracting you from what we are actually doing with your data,” said Mark Billingsberg at the launch of the new features. “All of your data belongs to you and sits on our servers to be demographically mined to help massive corporations sell to you.”
The latest groups features enable Facebook users to limit data they share publicly to only those people with they have their most intimate relationships, whether they are friends, family, colleagues or the marketing demographic requests from mobile phone companies.
“With groups we will be able to identify thousands of circles of twenty something males and share them with holiday companies in Ibiza,” said Billingsberg. “And that is what we really mean by sharing control.”
Facebook has long been criticised by users so concerned over their privacy that they have spent hours uploading their most intimate information and photos onto the Internet. And their daily soup choice.
“Facebook needed to take steps, because it is worrying that every time I talk to my friends about the latest Grand Prix all the ads on the site feature racing cars. Oh and I had minestrone today,” commented one Facebook user on a Facebook page complaining about the site’s privacy settings. “Look, it’s happening again. It is like they are monitoring me. The same thing happens to my Gmail messages about Donkey Porn.”
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