Dec 262012
 
 December 26, 2012  Posted by  Online

I woke this morning to what seemed like a delicious morning-after-Christmas gift for privacy advocates.  Mark Zuckerberg’s sister had found that her privacy settings didn’t quite work out as she might have hoped.

When Randi Zuckerberg posted a picture on her personal Facebook page that got uploaded to Twitter by Callie Schweitzer, she tweeted:

RZ1

Schweitzer replied that she was a subscriber and saw it at the top of her updates – and thought it was public:

cschweitz

And that’s when things really got pretty funny (to me, anyway), because Zuckerberg replied that Schweitzer was probably (only?) able to see it because Schweitzer is friends with Randi’s sister, who had been tagged in the picture:

RZ_tag

So there you have it: even a Zuckerberg may find their private family pictures shared more widely than they might like due to Facebook’s practices and privacy controls.

Randi Zuckerberg accepted Schweitzer’s apology among much needling from observers about Facebook’s controls, but used the opportunity to make a point about digital etiquette:

RZ3

Well, she’s right about the etiquette, but relying on etiquette is a poor second cousin to relying on adequate privacy controls.  There are too many ways on Facebook for what you think is private to wind up exposed more broadly.  Even those who should presumably understand the controls may get tripped up by its “features.”  In this case, it was a benign family picture, but last night’s situation reminds me yet again why I am not on Facebook.

As to Randi, she should just blame that guy in the corner.

Thanks to Venkat Balasabrumani for pointing me to this one!

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