If any of you have viewed your own Facebook profile recently, I’m sure you’ve seen that pesky dialog that popped up soliciting you to link your profile to Pages.
Part of me appreciates what Facebook is doing: trying to massage a group of arbitrary text labels into a more structured set of data. For instance, on my profile I have ‘Michael Buble’ under Favorite Music. If I accepted the request to link to the Michael Buble Page, the string “Michael Buble” is removed from my profile and replaced with a link to a page all about Michael Buble.
There’s a downside however: information about what Pages you link to is completely public. So while you may have your information like your employer or education shown only to your friends, once you convert those to Pages that information is open to everyone, not just people who are logged into Facebook.
This to me is a grievous privacy violation. By changing this data, which Facebook is strongly wanting you to do based on the fact that the stupid pop-up comes up every time you access your profile, you’re changing the privacy level of your information without even knowing it.
So far I’ve ignored the more-annoying-by-the-day pesterings to link my profile to the suggested Pages, mostly because I haven’t decided which information I want being released to the world at large.
Edited to add: I just unselected all the solicited links and sure enough — all of that data was removed from my profile. Oh well, I guess that’s just a little less information about me floating out on the web. Facebook: you suck.