This is National Consumer Protection Week.
Federal, state and local agencies, consumer groups and advocacy organizations will share tips and information on how consumers can protect their privacy, manage money and debt, and avoid identity theft, frauds and scams.
The Huffington Post reported that Facebook plans to share users' personal data with advertisers:
Facebook will be moving forward with a controversial plan to give third-party developers and external websites the ability to access users' home addresses and cellphone numbers in the face of criticism from privacy experts, users, and even congressmen. Facebook quietly announced the new policy in a note posted to its Developer Blog in January. It suspended the feature just three days later following user outcry, while promising that it would be “re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.“
Facebook's statement that it has no current plan to share users' private data isn't reassuring:
Despite some rumors, there's no way for other websites to access a user's address or phone number from Facebook. For people that may find this option useful in the future, we're considering ways to let them share this information (for example to use an online shopping site without always having to re-type their address). People will always be in control of what Facebook information they share with apps and websites.
And get this: Facebook plans to use your “likes” and comments in ads. A CNN reporter observed, “It's kind of creepy.”
If you don't want to be creeped out, make sure you stay in control of your information. Know your privacy rights.
UPDATE: As if on cue, a little while ago I received this notification from Facebook:
Name redacted (or someone impersonating Major) has requested access to Major's Facebook account. To help confirm who owns this account, please call Major and give them this code.
For Major's security, please be sure to talk to your friend in person or on the phone. Don't send this code by email or SMS.
Yes, Major is a Facebook “friend,“ but I don't have his phone nunber. Nor would I be able to identify him in a police lineup. So if Major is sitting by the phone waiting on a call from me, he's SOL.