Monday, February 02, 2009

New Horizons

I've been starting to get bored with Facebook for quite a while. And after reading a news article about Facebook selling its users personal information for "targeted marketing campaigns" (otherwise known as "spam") I've come to a conclusion that it's probably a good time to stop using it altogether and close my account. But it's not that simple to do. Even if you chose to close your account Facebook only deactivates it, the information remains on their database for 12 months. During this time they can use the information however they like. "Hey, that sounds unfair!" I hear you cry. But it's right there in the terms & conditions that you have to accept when you sign up. What was that? You didn't read the T&C's?? Neither did I, but it's right there. Why do they keep your info? Their excuse is that it's in case the user changes his or her mind and wants to re-register, and all of their info is right there and ready to go. The profile will look as though you've never gone away.

It turns out the only way to actually get it deleted is by writing them a letter requesting full removal from their database. They're probably relying on the fact that most people can't be bothered to do this seeing as we're now in the age of the email and SMS. To actually put pen to paper, write out a letter, put it in an envelope, write an address, buy a stamp (most people don't have them lying around the house like they used to) and post it in a pillarbox is far too much of a chore.

Last October I signed up to Twitter. I didn't use it much at first but recently I've become addicted. If you're on there too follow me at @stevejbeck.

EDIT: BTW, that Twittercounter over there on the right is broken. It says I've got 8 followers!! I've actually got 19 (I know it's not many but when you've got this few they're precious!)

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