Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Web Secret 517: Protecting your privacy on Facebook
We have been advised to shut down our accounts. Realistically, not everyone wants to do that.
Wired magazine published guerilla warfare alternative: "A drag queen's guide to protecting your privacy on Facebook by breaking the rules."
Change Your Name: Using a chosen name allows you a bit more control over how your data is collected, stored, and used. By adopting a chosen name, it’s possible to stay in touch with friends who can decode who you really are, while avoiding others who you’d rather not be able to find you. Plus, using a different name on different platforms makes it just a bit harder for trackers to connect the dots between your accounts, activity, and behaviors. But it’s not always practical to change your name; you may have better luck starting with a new account.
“Like” Like Everyone’s Watching: Another easy way to make it more difficult for companies to paint a clear picture of you is to give them false, misleading, or simply too much information. For example, if you don’t want to be targeted by manipulative political ads, perhaps try “liking” some pages or politicians who don’t fully match your values; the same goes for favorite brands, places, celebrities, or anything else you can support. Think of this as throwing the company off the scent.
Tag Photos Incorrectly: Similarly, try mis-tagging photos of friends—or use photos of celebrities, cartoons, or inanimate objects—to confuse Facebook’s facial recognition and computer vision algorithms.
Click All the Ads: You may also want to try clicking all the ads Facebook and other platforms deliver to you—especially the ones you’re not actually interested in. Again, this effectively hides your real interests within a sea of not-quite-real information.
Share Accounts: Finally, for those of us trying to curb our social media addictions, another option is to share an account with friends or family. That way, you can still make sure you don’t miss important updates or events, while making it harder to trace you personally.
Here's my suggestion: go through your list of your Facebook friends and ruthlessly delete the people who you are not close too.
At the end of the article, the author writes: "Are these foolproof? Certainly not... Are they ethical? I think so. Until companies come clean about their motives and give us real options to present ourselves authentically, to control the flow of our data, and to opt out of particular kinds of tracking, I’d say we’re justified in taking steps to protect ourselves..."
And that, my friends, is the truth.