Posted on October 3, 2010

Every so often think to check out Wired’s website to see just what a jungle the internet is these days.  We go out onto it as easily and casually as if we were walking down a sidewalk in our own neighborhood on a sunny summer day.  Well it’s getting more like Nightmare on Elm Street.  Surprise.  Freddie works for Facebook.

And now Facebook has hooked up with Scribid to create a privacy nightmare – to push the privacy envelop again:

Online document sharing site Scribd hooked up with Facebook to create “instant personalization” so Scribd users can get reading recommendations based on their Facebook likes and what their friends are sharing. Sounds interesting, right?

But the document sharing and embedding service has created a privacy nightmare that involves drafting users who are already logged into Facebook without offering a clear opt out process either on the site or through e-mail.

Instead Scribd has been creating subscriptions and followers on behalf of a user by sending e-mails to contacts obtained through Facebook’s friends list and notifying them — all without requiring the user to ever click a button.

Now isn’t this clever.  You’re at another dead privacy dead end searching fruitlessly for the opt out button.  Scroll down through the comments under the above article to this comment:
Posted by: Ardent | 10/2/10 | 12:39 am |

@nsr: if you’ve logged in with OpenID or Facebook ANYWHERE at ANY time and aren’t using an instanced-sandboxed browser (see also Google Chrome), you’re “always logged in.”
That includes if you didn’t dump your cookies last time you browsed and were logged in to FB.
I only log in to FB through Chrome Incognito (which doesn’t save the cookies and doesn’t allow web servers to query what other sites you’re currently logged in to; I also use PeerBlock and a firewall [any firewall is the same as the next, provided you’re setting it up right]). I’d recommend similar precautions to pretty much everyone who uses FB.
The worst part? I am not some paranoid privacy crank on the internet. I really couldn’t care less if someone’s tracking my internet usage. I just don’t want FB to

I don’t want MY last years on the planet devoted to fending off Facebook.  I guess I will just leave my tech people permanently logged into my machine to keep it out of trouble at a distance.  Losing privacy to them is costly but at least I know who the mole is.