"While more than half of Facebook users of all ages have changed their privacy settings this year, according to the Pew Research Center, I was curious why there hasn’t been a mass exodus from the network. Do the perceived benefits of social networking trump the benefits of preserving our personal data from corporate interests? I put that question to Woodrow Hartzog, Ph.D., a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University and author of Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies who explained how that’s not only the wrong question, but an entirely unfair one.
“I dispute generally the notion that staying on Facebook means we don’t care about privacy,” Hartzog tells me. My question, he contends, puts the onus on the individual rather than company to safeguard the massive amounts of data their platform is easily able to cull and share for their benefit.“The idea of a particular individual being able to assess and meaningfully exert choices consistently to preserve their privacy is almost laughable,” he says, noting that even if you’re not on Facebook, you’re still vulnerable to privacy breaches because of your friends who may be chatting about you online and sharing pictures of you."