In one day, Facebook managed to shoot itself in both feet AND the head over privacy issues. With excellent timing, several startups have launched that focus on real social networking – they connect us privately with our friends. And Google is testing fully automatic – no driver – cars.
Facebook found itself in the New York Times, USA Today, ComputerWorld, and hundreds of other papers, blogs and newscasts this week. Many of them on the same day.
It turns out that Facebook hired a PR firm to run a smear campaign against Google on – of all things – privacy issues. Naturally it backfired and everyone now knows Facebook was behind the malicious and pointless attacks. At the same time, Symantec told Facebook about yet another hole in its own security.
On the bright side, Facebook took immediate action to correct the hole that has been in place for several years. So maybe your personal information wasn’t shared with anyone. On the dark side, Facebook denies the hole in the security exposed anyone information. I guess Facebook lives in a special dimension. It’s the one where they get to ignore that their games (Farmville, Texan Hold ‘em Poker and Frontierville) were secretly sending user information to advertisers.
Let’s face it…providing advertisers with detailed profiles of Facebook users has been, is, and always will be, part of Facebook’s business model. As Chris Palmer, technology director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says “Therefore we can expect for this kind of security failure to arise again.”
In a demonstration of how an internet giant can actually do something useful, Google is testing automatic cars in California. In fact, they’ve already driven over 140,000 with automatic cars – including a thousand miles along Hwy 1.
Now, the cars aren’t empty during the test. They drive automatically, but there is someone in the driver’s seat and second person in the car monitors all the equipment.
Google has had such tremendous success with this new technology that they’ve asked Nevada to permit testing of the vehicles on public roads there.
Join Conrad this week as he explores these and other stories in the world of social media, and shows you how they impact your business.