Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Open Letter to Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I read on Mashable that you intend to attack Facebook in the name of protecting my privacy. I don't appreciate that at all. You claim you are fighting "a battle for choice and informed consent. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false." If you succeed in taking down Facebook you are removing my choice to be a part of it. You cannot fight for freedoms by taking them away.

I am aware that Facebook monitors and sells my data and I don't mind that at all. You present the idea of them accessing and using my data to make money as if it
is a big secret. It isn't. Of course a free service has to make money somehow. Facebook is a business. I consciously choose to contribute my data to their business because I enjoy the service they offer. They let me stay in touch with my friends and family, post and store pictures and memories online so that when my hard drive crashes or house gets burgled (and those things have happened) I still have my stuff, my contacts, my pictures... I don't mind in the slightest that my 'privacy' is compromised. The privacy settings on my account are set high. Only my 'friends' can see me in a practical sense. What a big server somewhere 'knows' about me does not bother me at all. A computer network is not a person. It does not look at my data the way an individual would. Therefore nobody actually 'knows' anything about me. And I very much appreciate the targeted ads.

If you, Anonymous, believe that people are being tricked then by all means, warn them. Explain those "details" you claim Facebook is hiding from them. But if you also believe in choices and the right to live freely, please respect my and millions of other Facebook users' choice to participate willingly. Otherwise, you are no better than who you claim to be defending against.

You say "One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right, you will thank the rulers of the internet, we are not harming you but saving you."
I don't think so.

Kind regards,


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