Unless you have been in a Buddhist retreat for some weeks you cannot fail to have read somewhere about Facebook’s privacy policy – or maybe that should be lack of it. It is fair to say that the company has come in for a barrage of flack and that head honcho Mark Zuckerberg has been the target of some seriously unpleasant and, in my opinion, unwarranted personal attacks. Zuckerberg has admitted the company had missed the mark and this week has promised to make amends by ensuring that the privacy settings in Facebook will be made simpler.

OK, I have to admit here that the privacy setting’s do not affect me greatly as I use it primarily to post details of my latest blog posts and I don’t participate in the wealth of add-on services such as Mafia Wars. If Facebook wants to spread some of my friendly abuse I might post on a mate’s site I can’t say I am particularly bothered. I can see that if you are a Facebook user and sign up to a raft of applications and games that your anxiety rating will be higher because it could be pretty embarrassing to let the world at large know that you are into Play Music Pets or that if details of your data on My Diet is released into the wild it could cause consternation.

But the simple fact is that if you place personal information onto the Internet then you must be prepared for it to escape at some stage. I am not saying it will but if some malicious hacker has their evil way or some network manager slips up somewhere then you could be screwed.

Your membership some years back of the David Cassidy fan club or Pink Rubber Underwear Fetish Society could cause you serious social or professional problems. Explain to me why I should give you a job in my marketing and PR department being the public face of my company when you posted a shot from university mooning or doing a meat and two veg impression with your genitalia!

So if you find yourself the focus as a laughing stock it’s not Zuckerberg that’s the arse, it’s you.

Like anything, used sensibly Facebook can be great. There are things I really don’t like about it but then maybe I am using it wrong. For example, a friend in Greece uses an application or service called Daily Photograph. Now I cannot get into that unless I subscribe. Sod it! I don’t want to subscribe because I use Flickr for sharing photographs, I just want to see the photographs of her dog’s puppies. This walled garden approach reminds me of the old days of AOL and CompuServe when each system allowed you only to email others on the same network.

Also, while writing this post I clicked on my profile and a pop-up listing the sites relating to authors I had put somewhere in my profile when I joined up appeared asking me if I wanted to link to all of them automatically or individually. I didn’t want either option and the only way I could get rid of the bloody thing was to shut down the Facebook tab in Firefox.

There is too much assumption from some social media services that I want everything to be catapulted into cyberspace for every Tom, Dick and Harry see. I would rather they gave me the option to decide what I want leeched onto the Internet. I want to keep my blogging stuff separate from the fact that I enjoy dangling my tackle in the water (that’s fly fishing by the way).