Facebook cares about your online privacy... not so much

Consumers need to be clear on the focus of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. It's not on protecting users. It's on getting more and more users. One of the ways that these sites attract more users is through the addition of features. Sounds great, right? You already like the site, and with more bells and whistles, you'll probably like it even more.

But have you ever stopped to consider what you're agreeing to when you let these applications become a part of your Facebook account? You're opening just another door to your information. Some users of these sites are very careful about what they publish on them, so letting another application access their data isn't a big deal.

Other users, however, end up opening up their entire lives on Facebook. And that's where things get sketchy. Around Christmas, I heard about the Facebook flap that had people's purchases from certain websites being visible to friends and family... that was a big no-no if you made one of those purchases as a holiday surprise for one of those family members or friends.