Radical transparency — Facebook is spying on you

Well the Valley is up in arms after Valleywag reported that Facebots are snooping on users just to entertain themselves. Some of us are still trying to get our heads around the idea that Valleywag is pretending to be outraged at the idea of someone snooping into the private affairs of other people. I mean, hello? Valleywag? The guys who follow Eric Schmidt around on dates? Man oh man.

Frankly I don’t see the problem with Faceberg spying on the dopes who use his system. Who cares? It’s not like the kiddies at Facebook actually know you. Heck, we’ve been reading people’s .Mac mail since day one. We’ve got a kind of primitive search algorithm that crawls around looking for sappy love letters or cheating spouses, stuff like that, and we keep them in an archive. Highlights go out on a daily newsfeed to people in the .Mac team. No harm, no foul, as far as I can tell. Besides that’s nothing compared to what Google does. I mean you wouldn’t believe what they’re up to. And it’s only going to get worse. Eric told me they’ve got a new thing that lets them watch people in their homes through a browser. Amazing. And they’re not doing it to be prurient or anything. They’re just trying to study user habits so they can improve their search algorithms.

Bottom line on cases of privacy invasion as I see it is you have to consider who’s doing it and what their motivation is. When it comes to companies in the Valley, we’re the good guys. We’re trying to make the world a better place. We’re the “don’t be evil” guys. Okay? If we bend the rules it’s only because we’re trying to offer the very best service possible. We’re doing it for your own good. Okay? Much love.