Trust, But Verify?

Posted by andreaitis on February 17, 2009

Mark Zuckerberg talking on Facebook (of course) about the change in their terms of use.  He actually calls it a clarification, and I believe it is.  The snippet below stood out for me as I read through Zuckerberg’s post:

In reality, we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want. The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work. Our goal is to build great products and to communicate clearly to help people share more information in this trusted environment.

On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information | Facebook.

So I got to thinking:  Who do I trust more, Facebook or Google?  I’ve put off trying Google Latitude yet just because it’s one more avenue for Google to invade my space.  Yes, yes, I’m inviting Google into my space.  But by now, Google probably knows more about me than my mother (minus that incident sophomore year).  Google sometimes gives me the creeps; Facebook does not.  Maybe it’s because I am largely in control of the information I’m putting into Facebook, so I know what they can pull out.  Not entirely the same with Google.  I feel like there are boundaries around my Facebook experience, and I can go beyond those or not, at my discretion.  I pretty much know what Mark Zuckerberg plans to do, at least at a high level.  Google, on the other hand, seems all about breaking boundaries and connecting information whether I want it connected or not.  Google’s overall intentions are still unknown, a giant galactic vacuum sucking up bits of me from here and there.  And I’m not sure how they’ll piece it all together just yet.

So, we can’t really verify.  Which means it does, in the end, come down to trust.  It all made me think of, well, Ronald Reagan first…but then Elvis Costello:

“You said you’d stand by me in the middle of Chapter Three
But you were up to your old tricks in Chapters Four, Five and Six”

Dare ya to sing along with me.


One Response to “Trust, But Verify?”

  1. Vickie Karp said

    I’m pretty much scared by everything and everybody, and have to fight the urge to not get involved with anyone, alive or pixallated, whether it involves my social security number or my social graces. But then i remembered that years ago, after being written up in Who’s Who in American Women — a sort of a scam, like the Good Housekeeping Seal — for which anyone who ever breathed eventually qualifies — I read my entry one day to see that it included every shred of info we use to verify highly-classified info about ourselves. This included my mother’s maiden name but not, luckily, the name of my favorite pet. Facebook no doubt has or will get that one. Anway, point is, I did receive strange mail from faraway places in which people who spoke English as if it was the Queens’ English on acid began to ask me to forward banking info so they could make me a millionaire, by way of a generous cash tip, for loaning them my bank account for a day. You know the drill. So Facebook and Google aside, doesn’t everyone who ever read a book have the exact same ability to search us out?

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