Facebook has hijacked your life.
Seemingly in the dead of night, Facebook has removed everyone’s e-mail account listed on their profile, replacing it instead with a randomly generated @facebook.com e-mail account.
Your address on Facebook is the same as your public username or your public user ID. If you e-mail said @facebook.com account, it sends a message directly to your Facebook message inbox. When you send messages to external e-mail addresses, your e-mails will be formatted to look like Facebook messages, including your name, your profile picture and your message. Your e-mail will appear as firstname.lastname@example.org when you send messages to external e-mail addresses.
And just like that, Facebook is starting to impose its will on all of us. I've become "Chris Miles 7927," just another cog in the great Facebook machine.
The event brings up privacy concerns, but, more importantly, begs the age-old question Facebook constantly toes: How will a massive company use all of the private information from so many millions of profiles to its own benefit?
The e-mail change may not be as sinister as selling your phone number to call banks, but it is a questionable move by the company.
Gervase Markham first noticed the e-mail change, posting about it on his blog. Despite a sudden flurry of media reports about the e-mail change, Facebook has yet to address user concerns of the change through any sort of public release.
Markham objects to Facebook auto-creating email addresses for users and then trying to force those contacting them to use it, and rightly so:
“In other words, Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly-direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me. In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. What on earth do they think they are playing at?”
You can easily change your e-mail on your Facebook account back to its original, but that’s not the point. What will Facebook take advantage of next? Will it post advertisements in our name? Will it sell our names to corporate sponsors, whereby our profiles will read: “Chris Miles Timeline Hosted By McDonald's?”
At some point, all those nuggets of personal information will be deemed too profitable for Facebook to pass up, and Facebook users will find themselves on the losing end.
So take the time to fight back today.
To change your e-mail, just follow these simple steps:
1) Click "About" on your profile and scroll down to your e-mail address. Click "Edit.”
2) Click on the circle next to your Facebook e-mail address and change its setting to "Hidden From Timeline."
3) Click on the circle next to your preferred e-mail addresses and change their settings to "Shown On Timeline."
4) Click save.
It’s unfortunate that you even had to go through all of that. Way to suck, Facebook.