Brian Gough’s Notes

occasional GNU-related news

Eben Moglen on Privacy and Social Networking

The Software Freedom Law Centre has published Eben Moglen’s testimony to Congress on privacy and social networking.

. . . Facebook and similar centralized social networking services like to talk about their “privacy settings.” This is mere deception, a simple act of deliberate confusion. These “privacy settings” merely determine what one user can see of another user’s private data. The grave, indeed fatal, design error in social networking services like Facebook isn’t that Johnny can see Billy’s data. It’s that the service operator has uncontrolled access to everybody’s data, regardless of the so-called “privacy settings.” . . .

Testimony of Eben Moglen, December 2, 2010, US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection