A 24 year old Austrian student wrote to Facebook asking for the records they had been keeping on his personal account. He was shocked to receive over 1200 pages of data related to his online activities. This incident has caused many people to question the social networking website's privacy failures. Some are even questioning if the use of Facebook means their personal privacy has been compromised.
There is no question that Facebook is a useful tool to have. People can use the site to share their interests with others, play games, connect with friends and relatives and promote their commercial interests. Unfortunately this comes at a cost. Anyone who is using this website is putting their personal data at risk.
Some people will be wondering why this even matters. What harm can come from strangers knowing their personal details? The reality is that putting so much information on the internet is dangerous. Both women and men have been stalked by people who found them on Facebook. Others have had their identities stolen and some have been the victims of scams. One woman innocently posted that she was at work on her Facebook account. This led to one of her "friends" coming to the conclusion that nobody was home. They took advantage of this situation and robbed the woman. Employers have also been known to reject job applicants because of personal information they have found on Facebook.
When push comes to shove the only way that people can avoid this is by being aware of what they post on their profile. This is the only way to ensure that the situations discussed above do not occur.