• 1
  • 2
social network vs privacy testua/text by: lorea bidegain   I  ilustrazioa/illustration by: txo!? In our increasingly mad lifestyle, social networks are a very interesting way of sharing information with friends and family. Without being face to face, they're a practical way of keeping in touch. Thanks to the development of new technology, Internet connections and the fact that mobile phones are becoming small computers, relationships can be kept up using social networks. We can use mobiles with data connections, or net books with USB modems, to give and take information from our friends' networks. But even the sun has a shadow, a dark side to it. The darkest side of social networks is the loss of privacy. Firstly, we place our data in the hands of giant multinational companies. In most cases, what's more, we accept social networks' user conditions about uploading content (information, photos, videos) without paying much attention. Secondly, it's difficult to control who gets hold of these contents and what they'll use them for. In principle, it's only our friends who see them at first, but then they can distribute them to others too. And a friend of a friend ... may be a friend of may not be. What's more, in everyday life we move through different realities and, along with that, we mix with different groups: workmates, friends, relatives, neighbours, team mates ... And you normally only bring all of them together when you get married. Well, now you can get them all together in your Facebook, Myspace or wherever. Maybe the biggest problem is that many people have fallen in love with social networks. They can't see, or don't want to see, their dark side. This leads to people signing up to social networks without a care. Sharing personal information anywhere and with anyone can have consequences. And that can be like having sex without a condom with someone you don't know.

There are more and more Internet localization sites (Buzz, Foursquare...). We can use them to share our exact location with our social network friends and they can see where we are on a map at any one time. A Dutch trio has created Pleaserobme.com to show how many people have signed up to Twitter's localization program without a care in the world. As you give your location, you also say exactly where you aren't. This is often when you aren't at home, and that can be a great tip for burglars. What's more, many people list their addresses in their profiles ... Who could give away more than that!