Imagine her surprise when she started getting hundreds of emails from men who wanted to date her. Having been married since 1988, I wasn't interested in a dating site, so I closed it." She says that within minutes, she started getting messages in her Facebook inbox from men. She and her husband live in a small community 2½ hours northwest of Toronto. Zoosk Victims is just one of the Facebook pages that feature dozens of complaints about the dating website and how it creates profiles.
I was absolutely mortified." And Mari isn't the only one."And it is basically saying to users out there — you don't want to have to remember 100 different passwords or 100 different log-ins, so we're going to let you log in with your Facebook credentials." Facebook says it is taking steps to address privacy issues, but for now, in most circumstances, by logging in with Facebook, for example, you automatically agree to share your private information with other websites.The signup page on allows you to sign up using Facebook or Google, without needing to enter any details.This is made possible by OAuth open authorization protocol, which allows users to share social media data with third parties.(Zoosk.com) It's an issue that's on the radar of the Office of Canada's Privacy Commissioner.
In a written statement to Go Public, communications director general Anne-Marie Hayden writes: "Our office has long been raising concerns about overly complex privacy policies and highlighting the need for companies to obtain informed consent for the collection and use of personal information." So where does the problem lie?The answer is complicated, according to Sharon Polsky, who heads up the independent advocacy group Privacy and Access Council of Canada.Polsky says Canada's outdated technology laws are just part of the problem."Most of them came in at about the same time fax machines were being developed … "The laws were built to respond to technology that's quite obsolete right now.[They] haven't been updated in a way that helps protect privacy of individuals."Right now in Canada, there's nothing to stop an organization from gathering that information about you and doing pretty much as they please with it as long as you're notified." That notification is the key — and also the problem.