As many of you know I am a fan of the check-in social networks such as Foursquare (where I am a Level 2 Super User). I check-in to GetGlue on a regular basis for shows and movies and more and I have ordered my stickers more than once to be sent to me in real life.
However, one of the issues I have with these sites is they seem to lack respect for our privacy in some of the simplest ways. The services all ask you when you check-in what other social media services you’d like to post your activity to – such as Twitter or Facebook. (This, of course, assumes you’ve connected the accounts to each of the check-in services.) The problem with privacy occurs when I uncheck those boxes asking if I want to share to Facebook and/or Twitter. Often times, GetGlue and Foursquare just straight up don’t listen.
Now, I don’t mean the actual check-in itself is sent to the various social networks but it is often the case that things within the GetGlue or Foursquare ecosystem as a result of your check-in are posted directly to Facebook or Twitter without your consent. Read more…
UPDATE July 28, 2011:
Unfortunately, it seems that Google has changed the options menus within Google+ so the method described below no longer works. Thank you to Sveinbjörn for pointing this out in the comments (bel0w). I am going to do my utmost to figure out how to accomplish the limiting of certain Google+ Circles seeing you in Google Talk. Because the service is still technically in “Field Trial” mode I suppose changes such as this are going to be happening as Google plays with the environment of Google+ on a day-to-day basis before the hard launch.
Google Talk – also known as Gmail Chat and Google Chat – is an integrated part of the brand new Google social networking service currently in an invite-only “field testing” phase called Google+ aka Google Plus (which is how it’s read). The way the service works in terms of maintaining your privacy and making it easy to share posts and information is by using “Circles.” Now, one of the things I noticed when I started using Google+ and Circles was that suddenly people from some of my Circles were appearing in my Google Talk list (within Gmail and within Google+). This was slightly disconcerting because as far as I knew none of these people knew my main email address so I was wondering how the heck they got on my Google Talk list. Turns out, the answer was within the Google Talk settings in Google+. Read on to find out how you too can change these settings to your liking.
Note: These settings can ONLY be changed in Google+ as of the time of this writing. You cannot change these settings from within Gmail. I have yet to test it with the actual Google Talk PC application but I would imagine it would be the same as the Gmail access. Read more…
Yesterday, I saw that Social Times did a quick review of an app called Tweetcaster Pro for Android which was available for free (usually it is $4.99) via the Amazon Appstore. It seems that every day the Amazon Appstore offers a people who use their Appstore – which is different from the Android Market. That’s really awesome, in my opinion, that is until I ran into a roadblock. This was a roadblock I have seen from other non-major app stores before too; they ask for my credit card info before they’ll allow me to check out and download the app.
Why, pray tell, do you need my credit card number and information for a free app Mr. App Store owner? Again, this is not something which is specific to Amazon’s app store it is just their store where I most recently encountered this issue. In my opinion if you are going to offer a deal such as this get the mechanics of it right. Offer people who “buy” the free app a coupon code, for example, this way when it comes time to put payment information in for checkout we have something to enter that doesn’t require us giving you personal info you wouldn’t be otherwise entitled to for a free item.
This is just my $0.02 on the matter, maybe some of you out there disagree with me but I think most would agree. Feel free and encouraged to weigh in I’m the comments.
Bad: Your Whole School Sees Your Name Posted On Failing Students List, Worse: Your Father Goes On TV & Tells The World You’re On That List
There is a recent story out of Wisconsin (link) concerning a principal of a middle school. This principal decided to post the names and classes of all failing students in the school with the notation that they would not be allowed to go to a school dance unless their marks are brought up above the failing line. Apparently this is a violation of the privacy laws in the USA and I am not here to debate the validity of the principal’s methods for attempting to get the kids in his school to become better students. What I am amused about is the actions of a gentleman named James Krier.
It seems that Mr Krier’s daughter is one of the students whose name is on that list. Rather than speak to the media anonymously Mr Krier has instead decided the right thing to do is speak directly to the news media. Mr Krier was quoted in the above linked article as saying:
“Their name, class and the F by it. It showed the F grade. I was pretty distraught when I got there I took a picture of it,” said parent James Krier. His daughter is one of a hundred names on the F-list posted for the entire school to see. “She couldn’t believe it that she was on that list she was upset.”
So Mr Krier, let me understand your logic. Your daughter was embarrassed that her middle school peers in a central Wisconsin town with a population of approximately 20,000 knew that she was failing. Seeing her embarrassment you decided the best way to rectify the situation was to make your family name in connection with this news story INTERNATIONAL? It wasn’t enough that your daughter had some local embarrassment for failing classes in middle school? You had to make sure that everyone in the world would have access to the information! Not only that, but you even did a video interview so in case someone didn’t recognize your name they would know your face! You can check out the video @ http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/wisconsin/wisconsin-middle-school-posts-list-of-failing-students