Facebook, Twitter, and Google Are Out to Screw LGBT Privacy. If You Let Them

We already know that researchers can tell if you’re gay using Facebook, use that info to advertise gay hook-up sites to you, and that every new social networking tool can wreak havoc on the queers because of their ultra-laissez privacy settings. Even web-savvy gays with only a Facebook, YouTube, and Gmail accounts could still find their minimal over-sharing used as reason to fire them — with no legal recourse. But that’s where Tamar Gubins from the ACLU’s Protect Your Dot Rights campaign comes in.

Queerty‘s Daniel Villarreal spoke with Gubins at the SXSW Interactive trade show about what LGBTs should know about online privacy in a world where a search for “HIV treatments” or visiting a LGBT youth group’s Facebook page leaves a digital trail behind. Google isn’t a search company; it’s a data-mining company. Should you be scared? Not necessarily. But at the very least, safe.

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  • Tamar Gubins

    You can learn more about online privacy, how your online personal information is at risk, and what you can do about it, at:

    It was great to talk to queerty at SXSW!


  • B

    Facebook and probably most of the social-networking sites are far worse of a threat to your privacy that you ever imagined. I’ve gotten emails from facebook listing a number of people I know that the alleged sender definitely could not know, and I don’t even have a facebook account, nor do I use the site.

    It is obvious to me that facebook is maintaining some sort of database of people’s personal lives on a massive scale without getting anyone’s permission. It is outrageous and should be illegal.

    Based on what I’ve read, many of these sites mimic the login pages of popular email services (gmail or yahoo for example) – anything with a web interface. Once they get that, they can read all of your email and do whatever they like.

  • Dan Collier

    It’s astonishing the number of e-mails I get from people on Facebook about my so-called profile (am not a member of Facebook). Each dealing both positively and/or negatively with my homosexuality, which I don’t hide on the net, since I am out and open. But what mystifies me is how I apparently am out and open on Facebook, without an account. For me, it’s of no consequence, but if an individual is still in the closet, or not fully out, then Facebook could be a threat, indeed.

  • B

    No. 3 · Dan Collier: “It’s astonishing the number of e-mails I get from people on Facebook about my so-called profile” … is there someone with the same name who set up a profile? Or did someone set up a profile for you, without your permission?

    Ask someone with a facebook account to check for you.

  • adman

    I just want my right-winger relatives off of my back on FB. How did I ever get involved with them? just un-friend me or whatever already!

  • Dome

    Gosh, as far as I can tell, Queerty was more hell-bent on destroying the LGBT privacy of people like Matt Bomer and Anderson Cooper long before the existence of Google+ or the ubiquity of Facebook.

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