I know I've been saying this repeatedly for years now, but it seems just when Facebook does something interesting, they take two steps back in privacy in the same pen stroke. I'm saving my worrying out loud about Facebook's new Like button for another post, this one has to do with (yet another!) disturbing policy change.

From The Consumerist:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this morning that Facebook will toss a policy that made developers and partners with access your data to delete it after 24 hours. Now they can just keep it.

The reason [they gave] had to do with server load:

Zynga [makers of Mafia Wars and Farmville] has had to download user information 100 million times per day because of our policy. Developers were having to architect entire systems just to do this.

Rant rant rant!

Zynga? You mean that company that did all those advertising scams? They've had to go to great lengths to take data to use it like that? Well I'm sorry guys, but this is the price you have to pay to use people's data responsibly. People don't give their data to you, they give them to Facebook and they don't want you siloing it to data mine for your own nefarious purposes over long periods of time. They have their data abused by Facebook in that way enough as it is let alone allowing every third party developer with even less credibility and ethics than Facebook to do it.

What's next, they're going to complain they need entire servers set up to serve and receive HTTP requests or email? Okay I know I'm stretching the analogy a little, but I find it really hard to muster sympathy for such operations that are raking in money from suspect activities.

This change in policy for Facebook may have been borne of necessity (or so they claim, I'm really suspicious from a systems architect and ethical point of view) but it reeks of opportunism to me. What better way to push through something that would otherwise be unpopular?

A definition is a definition is a definition is a…

From a Wikipedia article that ironically has a verification and citation shortage:

Opportunism is the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances, with little regard for principles.

From Wiktionary:

The taking of opportunities; especially the practice of seeking immediate advantage from a situation without considering the long term

From the Encyclopedia of Jim Kloss (I assume):

Opportunism is when the RIAA takes a sledge hammer and tries to shove it somewhere where the sun don’t shine, then calls it "helping artists"