Google reads your e-mail, you know.
And Tacoda was tracking you based on your cookies.
And the government can wiretap your phone if they think you're a bad guy.
Remember when Facebook told everyone what I bought?
I hate to break it to most of you... but 99.999% of the people in the world really don't care about this stuff.
I mean, sure if you ask them in a survey, they'll care--but realistically, we have bigger things to worry about. When Facebook shot themselves in the face with Beacon, most of the students taking my college business class hadn't even heard about it.
Facebook recently updated its TOS to give it the rights to stuff you upload, even after you leave, and people started flipping out.
Someone wrote on Twitter that they were concerned that Facebook could relicense photos of their kids. Really? And why on earth would Facebook do that? Is there a big potential revenue stream there for them? I have a feeling there isn't much of a market for photos of your kids if you're not Brangelina.
So... Where's that rank on your concern scale relative to... um... let's say... how you're going to pay for that kid's college tuition when the cost of education in this country outpaces inflation by 2:1? Hell, I'm worried about that, and I don't even have kids.
Let's view all this stuff under the microscope of, "What can actually hurt me?"
In terms of consumer privacy, where's the relative concern over the credit report industry? Whether I get an auto loan or a mortgage is based on information I can't check on everyday without paying for it that I also have little to no control over. Nor can I add anything positive about myself, like references. *That's* concerning.
Facebook photos? Like most people with half a brain, I don't post photos that I really care about that much on Facebook. Any photo of me on the web could turn up on the front page of the NYT and I wouldn't really be that concerned about it--they're not worse than anyone else's photos. And also like most people, I don't plan on eliminating my Facebook profile. Hell, we forget, but most of us in our late 20's still have Friendster profiles! Friendster!
As time marches on, having a presence on the web is becoming more the norm--as is having a mildly embarrassing photo or two around. It's not the end of the world. It won't get you fired. You've still got a lot better chance of getting fired for what you say on the phone to clients, or just flat out underperforming at your job than based on what you post on the web.
And as for what Facebook's going to do with all your stuff--probably nothing. I highly doubt, if I delete my Facebook account, I'm suddenly going to see all my photos being sold on some stock photo site somewhere--or some remnant version of my account that I can't get rid of. The fact of the matter is, companies don't really fare well when they do things that piss off a bunch of people--so don't expect much abhorrent behavior from Big Brother if for no other reason than it just don't make a lot of business sense.
Now, if you're an artist and content creation is the way your feed yourself, then perhaps you need to worry about this, but for most of us, I highly doubt our day to day lives will be impacted at all--save for the fact that we'll have to read all our favorite echo chamber tech bloggers debate about it until Apple makes a new product announcement or Arrington returns from walking the earth like Caine in Kung Fu.