Facebook’s not the problem

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Why is it that students are beginning to feel the need to publicly announce everything that happens to them every moment of every day? Perhaps more alarming, are the bizarre and naïve notions of students regarding their online security and privacy while using programs such as Facebook and LiveJournal.

Facebook began as an exclusive site for college and university students to meet one another and make inter-campus connections. But it quickly expanded to include high-school students, and is now open to anyone with access to a computer.

Somewhere along the way, students forgot that the information they are posting on this rapidly growing site is available to and accessible by everyone. Information and pictures posted are archived and readily available. According to the sites’ own Privacy Policy, information can be legally obtained by
third parties in certain circumstances. An increasing number of potential employers, professors and “potentially” police are signing up for public accounts. When voluntarily submitting information, students also agree that people on their friends list, or anyone who is computer-savvy enough to type in the correct web address, can also view their information. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Facebook is that people can post pictures and information about others without their consent, or even their knowledge. There may be a sense of anonymity in the masses, but this is a false sense of ecurity that students need to become aware of in order to protect their privacy. Often, students put up information intended for a select group, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that people from outside that group won’t be able to view it. As Dave Patterson, Campus Security director said, “It’s a public forum and people should kind of treat it as such.”

Oh, and in the future, Vice-Principal (Advancement) George Hood might want to consider protecting his e-mail and password from his children who are, according to Hood, responsible for his account.

According to the ITS Code of Ethics, he is in violation of section three which clearly states, “Users shouldn’t divulge passwords and other access control information for their personal accounts to any other person.” Or perhaps he simply lied to the Journal, and actually created an account, in which case he should own up to that as well.

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