Saturday, February 21, 2009

Digital awareness- info sharing

Invite Friends To Facebook ConnectImage by SCSpaeth via Flickr

MSAD 75 technology leaders are helping students and staff understand better practices for use of social networking sites like Facebook. Students seem to have broadly adopted recommended practices on restricting the display profile information. However, it seems to me that we have more work to do on helping ourselves and our students to understand another aspect of information sharing.

Facebook makes it possible for 3rd party application developers to tap into Facebook tools and data to provide new and innovative services: Facebook Apps. They run the range from trivial to serious (Facebook's own developer app that supports the development of other's apps). I suspect that many students choose to sign up for third party apps. I also suspect that students don't understand some of the implications of making these choices. Facebook provides information about what is shared in the following terms statement that users "accept" before they get access to an application:
(a) Information That May Be Provided to Developers. In order to allow you to use and participate in Platform Applications created by Developers ("Developer Applications"), Facebook may from time to time provide Developers access to the following information (collectively, the "Facebook Site Information"): ...

(b) Examples of Facebook Site Information. The Facebook Site Information may include, without limitation, the following information, to the extent visible on the Facebook Site: your name, your profile picture, your gender, your birthday, your hometown location (city/state/country), your current location (city/state/country), your political view, your activities, your interests, your musical preferences, television shows in which you are interested, movies in which you are interested, books in which you are interested, your favorite quotes, the text of your "About Me" section, your relationship status, your dating interests, your relationship interests, your summer plans, your Facebook user network affiliations, your education history, your work history, your course information, copies of photos in your Facebook Site photo albums, metadata associated with your Facebook Site photo albums (e.g., time of upload, album name, comments on your photos, etc.), the total number of messages sent and/or received by you, the total number of unread messages in your Facebook in-box, the total number of "pokes" you have sent and/or received, the total number of wall posts on your Wall™, a list of user IDs mapped to your Facebook friends, your social timeline, and events associated with your Facebook profile. user_terms
While Facebook restricts access to specific pieces of information and encourages users to control which information can be accessed, I think that we need to understand this aspect of social networking help ourselves and our students become better digital citizens.

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