Respect the Privacy !

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, declared last January that “privacy is no more a social norm”. “People want to share their things and information more openly, with more and more people”, Zuckerberg claims.

Facebook has actually made several changes to the privacy settings during the springtime, so that even the most proficient net users have had hard time to keep track on what information Facebook shares with outsiders and what not. The privacy can be treacherous on Facebook and other services of social media which are more and more popular around: your friend comments a photo you have uploaded to the service and what the heck, suddenly your entire internet album is available for your friend’s network to see. Unless you have been smart enough to set right your privacy settings. (This tool provides you a way of checking your privacy settings on FB)

We agree with Zuckerberg that people do want to share information with each other. Different kinds of messenger applications and tools have diversified the way people keep in touch. Such tools are suitable also for families to use in their daily life: to share and comment pictures, to agree upon schedules, to leave messages, to make shopping lists together or to remind about important things. The possibility of “thumbing up” and “liking” reinforces the family’s internal communality, i.e. the sense of belonging together.

Yet, we strictly disagree that privacy would be of last season. We argue that the privacy of families and children must not be threatened. They must be provided a secured network environment where privacy settings are strict by default. How many of us really want to show the whole world pictures about small-scale family parties or a newborn baby with an exhausted mother?

It is no use trying to avoid the web. That will not work in the long run. The children who learn to use the web wisely early in their lives are more likely to know how to keep distance from dubious sites, cheating and phishing attempts when older. A secure and closed environment provides kids a good playground.

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