It isn’t a stretch to assume that many of the people who want to limit their connectivity might be the same people who are concerned about privacy online as well. Part of what getting offline does is bring us back to who we are as people without a gadget in our hand or sitting before us. What lack of privacy online does is creates avenues for companies to influence who we are by picking out what music we might like or books we might want to read based on some computer algorithm. Feeling the need to log out could be related to wanting to log out of the person that Google or Facebook think you are.  

So when surfing the Internet recently I started noticing eerily pointed information about friends of mine liking this or that relative to the site I was visiting. I can’t say I’m really interested in what so-and-so who “friended” me on facebook that I haven’t spoken to since 1991 thinks about where I’m surfing the web and what I’m buying or reading online today.

How in the world did they get that information about who my facebook connections are and why are they telling me what they like? Sure enough, I was recently alerted to a mysterious setting that had been automatically enabled in my facebook Account.

It is a privacy setting that has been around since April of this year called “Instant Personalization” which shares data with non-Facebook websites and is automatically set to “enable.”

I guess I’ve been snoozing on this one, but slowly facebook has been adding more and more sites to its list of web sites it shares data with. Obviously among them ones that I have been using lately.

Ummm… excuse me, but Mr. CEO Zuckerberg at Facebook, please don’t go enabling things without asking me first. I’m sure your brilliant programming skills could have come up with a way to ask me before green lighting the whole lot of us to share info we don’t want to share!

Here are a few random links with more thoughts on the whole thing:
Facebook Must Make “Instant Personalization” Opt-In Immediately
Facebook Expands Instant Personalization with Rotten Tomatoes
Disable Facebook’s “Instant Personalization”

So, if like me, you missed the hullabaloo over this, here are directions to protect your privacy (not to mention individuality). I wonder if Google has similar settings where I can stop sharing the info I write in my e-mails?

Logging out now.