Proof That the Internet Needs Stopping

by on December 3, 2008

If you land on a web site you know nothing about and it asks you for your authentication details to another system, you should (if you have any sense) immediately hit the back button.

Yet with all the hand-wringing about phishing, identity theft and net crime in general, a site called Power.com apparently sees a business model in blithely asking people for their Facebook (and other) login information. They then use that to plonk all your network information into one place. Incredible, but true. I hope for all our sakes their fail abysmally.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing automatically bad about pooling all your social data (we have emerging protocols for that), but the idea of asking for authentication in this way completely undermines best practice for identity protection and general security. How onĀ  earth are people supposed to navigate the datasphere safely if this kind of idiocy catches on?

This is even worse than the practice of sites like Facebook asking for your Gmail credentials so they can mine you for contacts (“We won’t store your login details – honest!”), if only because you have usually established a relationship with them first. There is also some measure of trust involved, however scantily considered that might be.

Yet another example of how, in 50 years time, people will look at the use of networks in the early 21st century and shake their heads in sheer disbelief. And providing the historians some evidence of the lunacy, Mashable thinks it’s all a-OK! Words fail me.

Well, I posted some words about it in a comment – couldn’t resist.

Comments

You’re quite right.

I beleive we’ll look back at this period as some sort of privacy explosion. Currently we seem to be in some sort of boundary testing phase and Facebook is the perfect environment.

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