Why Apple Ping’s privacy setting is going to bite them
September 2nd, 2010 by ravi

TechCrunch thinks the privacy settings in Apple’s fledgling social networking service, Ping, is brilliant:

I haven’t used Ping enough to tell if it will actually be useful. Given that this is Apple’s first real foray into social, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise. But they’ve won the first battle: simple privacy settings. Facebook could learn a thing or two from this.

I beg to differ. Here is what the Follow preference page on Ping says (image from TC):

Take a closer look into those parentheses… that bit about “including purchases” — that’s the fatal flaw in these settings, in my view. To understand why, read the New York Times article titled “Never Listen to Céline? Radio Meter Begs to Differ“, from which I quote below:

American men have a naughty little secret. Sometimes, they like to relax with a little Céline Dion. Professed classical music fans have one, too: as it turns out, they don’t tune into classical radio nearly as much as they claim.

Do I want even my closest friends to be aware of the fact that I have recently purchased songs by Nelly Furtado and Hall & Oates? You bet I don’t. And no amount of “Liking” Miles Davis and Beethoven is going to make up for the ignominy (and ridicule) that awaits me.

// Link: The iTunes Ping Social Question: Follow, Friend, Or Lurk?

P.S: about that Nelly Furtado thing… my wife made me buy it. I swear! (which is another problem with this Apple scheme). I have no excuse for the Hall & Oates. I confess I like them.

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