Wanted: an ‘opt in’ option
Facebook is taking heat again for some new feature that threatens the privacy of its users. Something about a deal in which Facebook will be sharing its users’ personal information with some new business partners — unless those users opt out.
Them’s fightin’ words to me. It angers me no end to be told I can opt out of whatever nosy, intrusive, annoying thing they are doing to me. They share or sell or circulate my private information. They send me spam and junk mail. They trick me into signing or agreeing to things they know perfectly well I wouldn’t knowingly sign or agree to.
And what is their fallback position, the defense they always offer (usually in the smallest possible type)? “You can opt out.” Really? If you even open spam, much less try to opt out of it, the sender knows immediately he’s got a live address and you’ll get even more spam. You can opt out of receiving a certain catalog, but your address and interests will have have already gone out to ten other companies. And that Facebook opt-out, according to CNN, is not a simple single click — at least not until you’ve clicked in at least six other places to get to the right place for that single click. Arghh!
I want a law that says I have to opt in. I want a law that says unless and until I opt in, they can’t abuse me, they can’t invade my privacy or share my information or send me their junk. I want an option to opt in, not out.