Faceless Cyber Leaks

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an identity. There may not really be any such thing as online privacy, even with supposed internal regulations and controls by Internet companies.

In an article on the Los Angeles Times website, Michael Hiltzik says that even in this age of openness through social online networking, users do care about their privacy. He cites a study by the Pew Research Center that found that young users of the Internet, those 18 to 29, made more effort than those aged 30 to 49 to limit the personal information they disclose online.

Balachander Krishnamurthy of AT&T Labs told Hiltzik that despite what people believe about their ability to control their privacy settings, “what happens underneath in the protocol exchange mechanism is something most people don’t even know about and so would not be able to block.” And Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology said, “We’re always one privacy fiasco behind.”

“Friends” on an Internet user’s Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networking site are valuable to the sites’ proprietors and to their commercial partners, says the article. “They are not the sites’ customers; they’re the merchandise.”

To read the Los Angeles Times article, click here:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20100606,0,835664.column