3 March 2009

Another week where Facebook is in the press for the wrong reasons...

Another week and Facebook is yet again in the news for all the wrong reasons. It has been reported by BBC News that Facebook has been hit by five different security attacks in the past 7 days. The aim of these attacks have been to access the personal information of millions of Facebook users and resale them to third parties as commodities for various purposes including fraud and identity theft.

The attacks were concealed in what are commonly known as 'rogue applications.' This brings to light yet again Facebook`s worrying practice of not vetoing third party applications before they are published on the site. As a matter of fact, any individual can create an application and publish it on the site. S/he, then, has access to all the personal data of all the users of Facebook, irrespective of whether or not the users have subscribed to the application. Facebook justifies this practice on the grounds on 'open source,' namely, any user should be able to participate in the Facebook both as a user and as a developer of applications. However, this only serves to highlight the problem of the concept of open source or creative commons. The unfettered and unchecked proliferation of code by net users in such websites not only threatens the fundamental rights of other net users but also, and more importantly, yet again highlight the increasing risk posed by a regulatory framework which is based on technological determinism.
Disclaimer: The rights to the image used above belongs to a third party. The original image can be accessed here.

No comments: