Facebook’s Privacy Erosion Strategy Visualized

Today is the IPO of Facebook and many of us are asking ourselves what it is, the prospective shareholders are investing in … The answer is quite simple: “You’re not the customer, you’re the product”

Although I am not a friend of circular visualizations, if the whole thing we look at has no repeating nature, Matt MacKeon‘s visualization of the default privacy settings within Facebook over time shows nicely what is going (wr)on(g):

Evolution of the default privacy settings within Facebook

(click on the image for the interactive version)

Easy to see how the privacy is gradually taken away from the “default” customer. Even those who go to the privacy settings and change the default to more private settings will once in a while be surprised that their settings are back to default, as restructured privacy categories are always set to default even for existing customers.

Let’s close with a nice example of how the customer <-> product reversal usually ends up:

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