To my dear readers,
One of my passions in life is technology. I’m a self described geek and enjoy following the latest in technology news and updates. Whether it’s the latest gadget from Apple, a new service from Google or a pre-release version of Windows 8 I’m there. Reading about them, playing with them – admiring what they do well and learning from what they don’t.
I’ll admit that in the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Facebook is a wonderful tool that allows me to stay connected with friends and family, yet at the same time seems to disregard the privacy of those who use it with abandon. About a year ago there was the ‘beacon’ incident, where purchases made on other websites showed up in your Facebook feed – which alarmed those who bought something innocuous, and did far worse to others who had bought things they’d rather remain secret, like an engagement ring for a beloved.
Privacy settings seem to miraculously change as they ‘improve’ the service, and I’ve had a hard time keeping pace with what I’ve actually disclosed to whom. Yet what Facebook announced this week terrified me, and as a service to those in the transgender community I want to share this warning so you’re not caught in a nasty surprise.
What has Facebook Done?
This week Facebook announced new ‘frictionless sharing‘ which in a nutshell lets a website show your friends what you’re reading without you even clicking a like or share button. The website will ask you for permission once, and from then on every article you read will be announced to all your friends.
Decide to linger on the New York Times article about transgender discrimination – now your friends can find out. Take a few moments to click through to a story about a cross dresser – good thing those closest to you are so understanding as you accidentally out yourself.
A few months back I wrote about the best strategies for protecting your cross dressing secret on Facebook, but I fear that these will no longer be enough. In my opinion if you use Facebook you’re just one mistake away from telling the whole world you’re a cross dresser.
How to Protect Your Crossdressing Secret While Staying in Touch With Friends
Of course, it’s not as easy as telling you to stop using social networking sites. After all, the sense of connection enriches your life and allows you to grow closer to those closest to you. I am going to advise that you strongly consider switching to <a href="http://www.google.com/plus"Google+ and encouraging all those you care about to do the same. The privacy model on Google+ is dead simple. You can create circles by adding people to them, and when sharing you decide which circles to share with. What you read is never shared unless you explicitly click the +1 button on a website – avoiding any nasty surprises.
With Google+ you are in control of what you share and with whom.
To the best of my knowledge all the ‘Like’ buttons on Crossdresser Heaven will only share once you click it and will continue to behave that way. If I discover anything to the contrary you’ll see all Facebook integration disappear from Crossdresser Heaven.
Please, be careful out there.