Skype Privacy Settings

I use Skype on one platform or another every day. I use it mainly on my Mac, and occasionally on my Nokia E71 via Skype for 3 (if out and about) or Skype’s own Symbian client (if wifi is near). On rare occasions I’ll use Fring, because it has the most fluid chat functions.

It seems as if every time I launch Skype for 3, which is essentially a rebranded version of iSkoot, or Fring, the default privacy settings on my Mac’s Skype client are reset to only allow calls and chats from people in my address book. This is deeply annoying. Skype for 3/iSkoot/Fring do not allow you to adjust privacy settings – the used has no control over them.

I have to try and remember if I have used Skype for 3 or Fring and reset the permissions on my Mac. Every. Time.

It wasn’t until a friend told me that my Skype Online Number had been engaged for several days, that I managed to work out what had happened. Skype – please allow your desktop clients to lock their privacy settings. I’m sure I’m not the only one to be affected by this.

It would be useful to have a different privacy profile for when I am mobile, and while Skype’s own Symbian client allows this, the call quality simply isn’t up to much over 3G. In the next version of Skype, I don’t want any extra whizzy features, it’s fine as it is (v. 2.8 on Mac) – just refinements to privacy settings, and I’ll be a happy man.

Privacy Social Networking

Facebook and User Content

From Facebook‘s Terms of Use:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

While they don’t claim ownership of your content (photos, any text you post, videos etc) they can use it for whatever they like, for as long as they like, or for as long as you have a Facebook account.

And here’s a nice bit of conspiracy theory about Facebook’s alleged CIA connections from the New Zealand Herald (which prompted me to write this post).

I have often asked friends if they have thought about who owns Facebook, where their data is stored, and if they’ve ever considered that it might be used for other purposes. Few have.

I’m beginning to have mixed feelings about Facebook, but the trouble is with so many friends using it. I’d be a virtual outcast if I left it…