Facebook has a bad privacy track record and people care--just not that much. After Facebook made its most recent changes, announcing a timeline and frictionless sharing, which makes everything you do a lot more public, USA Today and Gallup polled Facebook users to see how they felt about privacy. "I really don't care if people know about the stuff I like," Danny Jackson, a chronic Facebook user told USA Today's Byron Acohido. There's some sort of disconnect: happening: Facebook raises privacy concerns, but it doesn't actually bother people enough.
A minority of daily users reported high-anxiety about Facebook's privacy issues. "Only 26 percent of respondents who use Facebook at least daily said they were "very concerned" about privacy," writes Acohido. That doesn't exactly add up to the sentiments floating around. Following Facebook's announcement of the new features, it weathered a cookies controversy, which purported that Facebook tracks user data even when logged out of the social network. But even after people found out that Facebook tracked and saved user data as they surfed the entire Internet while not even connected to Facebook, less than a third really care.
This isn't the first time there's been a mismatch. When Facebook got booed at for its facial recognition software, again, users just didn't care that much. Not only is facial recognition just kind of eerie, but Carnegie Mellon researchers used the technology to locate people's social security numbers, just using info on Facebook and their photo. But that kind of scary issue didn't deter the trend, as we reported. Perhaps its Facebook's addictive powers, or like Jackson said, people just don't really care what Facebook knows.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.