Megan Garber looks at some new research on privacy considerations in Facebook photo tagging by João Paulo Pesce and others, and boils it down for us:
On Facebook, Your Privacy Is Your Friends’ Privacy - Megan Garber via The Atlantic
The upshot? “Photo-tags can threaten privacy burdens in an indirect way,” the authors note, “by pinpointing the nodes in the social graphs on which privacy-attacking algorithms may extract information, thus enhancing their accuracy.” The social networks themselves, the researchers suggest, could work to solve that problem — by, say, creating a “hiding” feature that would allow users to disguise tags and prevent their unauthorized use without fully deleting them. Which would definitely be a nice thing to have. But the real solution, it seems, will be a social one, fit for the age of the social network. And it will start with users re-conceiving of themselves not simply as users sharing their own information, but as actors and influencers who are responsible for the network at large.
To turn this around, away from the conventional conservation-of-privacy ideal, we can say that publicy is an outcome of the social actions of social network participants, an emergent property. As individual’s add social metadata incrementally, others — or algorithms — could explore that metadata and be able to make potentially revealing inferences, like who was with who at a bar, what Facebook friends are actually close, and what connections are romantically involved.
Source: The Atlantic