A friend in The Netherlands writes:
There’s a lot going on in Europe about an old chat session (especially the last line) that turned up where Mark Zuckerberg says:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS.
Friend: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks.
But… well… he’s right!
Although I have no idea whether this purported exchange ever occurred, I have to agree in principle.
Without wanting to insult anyone, posting anything confidential anywhere on the Web that hasn’t got an “https” address qualifies for Zuckerman’s remark, IMNSHO, (and sometimes I wonder about SSL and TLS).
I don’t trust anyone, especially people who’ll open any file or click any link because it came from “someone they trust.”
#1 – Do they trust the one who sent it to the friend? Do they even know who it was?
#2 – How do they know who sent it? Ever heard of botnets?
#3 – How would they know if a file was safe, or if it had just infected their computer and sent all their friends’ email addresses to Eastern Europe? Do they think those people provide pop-ups to keep them informed?
I delete, unopened, an amazing quantity of stuff that was sent to me by people whom I would otherwise trust with my life. Eighty percent of people who go online regularly haven’t the vaguest idea of good safety practices — true statistic. Scary.*
I’ve heard otherwise sensible people say, “Well, you have to trust someone!” Well, no, you don’t. It’s like unsafe sex — you may have a little more fun at the time, but the potential price is just too high.
The Facebook and other online hoorah about confidentiality is sheer b.s. from spoiled brats who want their hands held to keep them out of trouble, but insist on their “freedom” when having them held doesn’t suit.
Bottom line: If you don’t want people to know your shit, don’t spread it around in public. Period. You can’t have your cake and eat it too…to sort of but not quite mix a metaphor. Grow up, people!
Zuckerberg created a service that 400 million of you seem to find relatively indispensable. He provided it free. It’s still free, but he and his investors want to get some of the millions of dollars that they’ve spent back in some fashion. That’s their privilege, and they’ve earned it.
If you don’t like that, it’s easy to deal with: just delete your account at Facebook. And please, stop the whining. It’s so…so…eighth grade.
*If you don’t know the meaning of “https”, “SSL”, and “TLS”, you’re most likely one of the folks who don’t know their encryption from their elbow. Here’s a link to get you started if you fall into the great unsecured 80%: http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/