Monday, August 27, 2007

A Warning on Privacy: How Private Is Your Social Networking Site?

[Posting by Fred Roberts]

If you think that what you put on MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites is private, think again. According to an August 2007 Star Ledger article, social networking sites cooperate with police, even if an individual’s site is “private”. The police are going to such sites to get clues to solve crimes, curb underage drinking, seek clues to vandalism, and search out gang membership. Intelligence agencies are making use of these sites in their efforts to monitor potential terrorists before they can implement their plans. According to Time Magazine (August 20, 2007), 12% of employers admit to using these sites to investigate potential employees, and we are told of cases where students have lost potential jobs because of what employers found on their social network sites. Before posting information to your social network site, think about whether you really want the police, prospective employers, or your parents to read it – it is more public than you may think!