Hacking Facebook Privacy

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hacking Facebook Privacy

Chris Conley Technology & Civil Liberties Fellow, ACLU of Northern CA

Facebook’s privacy issues are numerous and well-documented, from software “glitches” to decisions that take control away from users. Despite that, it is a still-growing force in the modern Internet and is currently trying to position itself as the gateway to the “social Web” for its 500 million users.

What can we, as hackers, do to protect the privacy of those millions?

This panel walks through a few existing projects that apply software skills to the privacy challenges that Facebook presents, from working within the system using Facebook’s Platform API to adding a layer to the system with browser extensions to presenting a robust open-source alternative to the whole Facebook platform. We’ll discuss how these different tools fit into various strategies to alter or replace Facebook’s existing privacy regime and what other approaches might be successful in protecting privacy on Facebook and other user networks.

Chris Conley is the Technology & Civil Liberties Fellow at the ACLU of Northern California where he focuses on launching the organization’s new online privacy campaign, Demand Your dotRights. A former computer scientist turned lawyer, Chris still uses his tech skills to explore the ramifications of new technologies and to create educational tools that expose the privacy consequences of technical design, ranging from short videos to Facebook applications. He works with users, developers, businesses, and lawmakers to promote transparency, protect individual rights from government intrusion, and give users of new technologies greater control of their own information.

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