Opt-In Vs. Opt-Out.


It was fascinating to learn that Facebook’s privacy policy is 1,000 words longer then the U.S. Constitution. It seems nation-building back in the day was easier than signing up for a social network today. The average novel is 80,000 words; the Facebook privacy policy is close to 6,000 words. They want us to read a bit less than 10% of a book to sign up. 

I’m guessing only about 1% of the population has ever read a Terms and Conditions or privacy policy document and that percent probably passed the bar. (I was once responsible for Ts and Cs at a company and it was truly an exercise in plagiarism, with a lateral to a lawyer.)

Privacy policy needs to be opt-in, not opt-out.  That is, users must click with whom and what they want shared. A manual Opt-In selection.  This makes it so everything starts out as private and users and info to be shared must be selected. Right now everything is pre-set for share and you must deselect. Opt-Out. The Op-In approach will likely make advertising and data sale more effective and targeted. Of course, there will have to be incentives built in, but that’s the way it goes.

As I said in a post a couple of days ago, the decisions Facebook makes today on privacy will determine if they become the world’s first trillion dollar company. No pressure there. Hee hee. Peace!