The Facebook leadership continues to treat privacy as an afterthought, which could prove to be its undoing. To be sure, when hundreds of millions of people post online detailed data about themselves, their activities, their likes and dislikes, and so on, they do this voluntarily. But this information should be treated with respect. Unfortunately, Facebook’s leadership confuses the right to privacy with transparency, arguing that transparency is good for individual relationships. This is misguided. Transparency applies to organizations, not people. Organizations are increasingly obliged to communicate pertinent information to their customers, shareholders, business partners and so on. This is not the case for individuals. Indeed, individuals have an obligation to themselves to safeguard their personal information. And institutions should be transparent about what they do with our personal information.
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