Monday, August 22, 2011

Facebook 'Like' button declared illegal in Germany

I personally doubt if many people realise how their use of Facebook and features such as the Like button are used by the companies who have access to the information.

FACEBOOK'S famous "Like" button has been declared illegal under Germany's strict privacy laws by data protection officials.... Read More

People often don’t care if they’re actions are being tracked. Most don’t care if the government and authorities have access to their information and the general attitude is, “I don’t do anything wrong so what does it matter”, thinking only good people can get access to their data. But if the Homeland Security of America’s information is correct, where 3 in 100 people aren’t allowed onto an aeroplane because they’re dangerous and 10 in 100 are stopped before boarding then we need to keep in mind that bad people also work in these companies and have access to the information.

It amazes me that people use a feature such as the Like button for a business. Have you ever noticed with banks and other companies all the good offers are used to get new customers and existing customers don’t get much. Telling a company that you like them means they have you and they don’t have to work hard for your custom. The business will be focusing on getting new customers and that isn’t you.

Short term I expect to see the Like button being used to get new customers with special offers, but long term once they have you the benefits will reduce over time and since loyal customers generally remain loyal, a business can increase prices without losing a customer. Using a Like button is giving away your negotiating position. Remember it is basic human nature. We try harder to get the things we want rather than the things we already have.

So whether you’re concerned about your privacy, how your information is being used by others, who your information is being sold to, or just reducing your bargaining power, you should really think about social networking and features such as the Like button. I for one think people should if possible aim to keep things balanced and fair.

- Kelvin Eldridge

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