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Reading Over Your Shoulder: Social Readers and Privacy Law

March 19, 2012

Margot Kaminski has an article in Wake Forest Law Review. Online that begins:

My friends, who are generally well educated and intelligent, read a lot of garbage. I know this because since September 2011, their taste in news about Justin Bieber, Snooki, and the Kardashians has been shared with me through “social readers” on Facebook.[1] Social readers instantaneously list what you are reading on another website, without asking for your approval before disclosing each individual article you read. They are an example of what Facebook calls “frictionless sharing,” where Facebook users ostensibly influence each other’s behavior by making their consumption of content on other websites instantly visible to their friends.[2] Many people do not think twice about using these applications, and numerous publications have made them available, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Guardian.[3]

Footnotes

  1. See, e.g., Ian Paul, Wall Street Journal Social on Facebook: A First Look, Today @PCWorld Blog (Sep. 20, 2011, 7:02 AM), http://www.pcworld.com/article/240274/wall_street_journal_social_on_facebook
    _a_first_look.html.
  2. Jason Gilbert, Facebook Frictionless App Frenzy Will Make Your Life More Open, Huffington Post (Jan. 18, 2012), http://www.huffingtonpost.com
    /2012/01/18/facebook‑actions‑arrive‑major‑changes_n_1213183.html.
  3. See The Washington Post Social Reader, Wash. Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/socialreader (last visited Feb. 26, 2012); Press Release, The Guardian, Guardian Announces New App on Facebook to Make News More Social (Sept, 23, 2011), available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/gnm
    -press-office/guardian-launches-facebook-app; Paul, supra note 1.
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