Saturday, August 28, 2010

Facebook vs Identity - again

Well, it should read "Facebook vs Privacy - again"... but the point I want to make is, that Facebook could have been an Identity platform.
In a way they are... not only in a way, if you go and count the sites that allow you to login with your facebook account. But that only makes them an Identity provider.

An Identity platform needs more than just a secure single sign-on.
For example authorization: you should be able to finely tune who has access to what. That's why the social graph (or your address book, if you will) is so valuable. Facebook does have most of the data and means to enable proper authorization: who can see my wall-posts, who is allowed to contact me, ...

It would have been easy to extend from there.

But with Places they once again proved that they rather go the pure marketing platform way, instead.
  1. Places is mostly opt out. It is somewhat (but not fully, it seems) enabled by default, until you disable it.
    Not a good default - privacy-wise.
  2. Other people (your friends) can check you in at any place they want.
  3. You can't control your places. Anyone can check in at your home...[1]
This is all good and fine for a geo platform (like foursquare)... but not for an identity platform

To Facebook (the company) it seems more important to publish stuff about you (and make money from the ads) than to have you properly manage your identity. That's fine, too, but that makes them a marketing platform only...


[1] different issue, I know, but it still troubles me.

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