Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Spy Who Friended Us

And to think that I fretted that a colleague might see the Thanksgiving video my niece posted on Facebook -- the one with me in the kitchen, loudly singing along with my boisterous extended family.  

It recently came to light that Sir John Sawers, chief of the British intelligence agency M16, was outed by his wife on Facebook. Sawers' wife enabled zero privacy settings on her account, giving 200 million Facebook viewers access to Sawers' secret code name, along with other sensitive information, including photos of the agent cavorting in a brief bathing suit.

It's hard not to commiserate. On July 1, Facebook announced that it was changing its privacy controls, which Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly admitted are currently way too complex.  The controls, which are now scattered across in multiple pages, will be simplified and consolidated into one page in the future.

So far, I've been fairly scrupulous about keeping my professional and personal lives corralled in separate social networking sites -- Facebook for friends, LinkedIn for work. I think that's common for all but the youngest generations of users. 

But if  keeping my professional and personal life separate on one Web site were to get a lot easier, that could change the game.

1 comment:

PCMA Membership Blog said...

Hi Barbara - I hadn't heard that spy story - funny and sad all at the same time. I have both friends and colleagues on Facebook and LinkedIn. I'm keeping Twitter all to myself...although I do keep tabs on issues affecting PCMA.

And frankly, some days I find it hard just to get to those sites to check out what's going on...could I have social media overload?

I'll be interested to see how others handle the social media sites.