Microsoft/Facebook: Who's helping who?

Josh Chandler · April 2, 2009 · Short URL:

With recent news that Microsoft is helping Facebook with security, who is the true benefitor?

Microsoft’s Jeff Williams, principal group program manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) made a guest post today on the Official Facebook Blog about the latest security issue Koobface plaguing Facebook and other social networks, certainly proving Microsoft’s vested interest in the $240 million investment into Facebook is quickly becoming a worthwhile deal for both parties.

It seems that Microsoft is trying not to step out of line with Facebook right now, considering the recent announcement that Facebook will be making a native app available for Windows Mobile only solidifies a growing bond between these companies and one which Microsoft will no doubt plan to grow.

However it’s not to say that it’s perhaps quite late (I mean, really late) for Facebook to be bringing out native support for Windows Mobile, especially as the iPhone Facebook App has been available for over 2 years now, although I can understand many of you would point out that Facebook was only following the majority audience, it simply doesn’t make sense that Facebook would ignore Microsoft in favor of Apple, on the other hand if Facebook can get an Apple feature TV ad all about Facebook it is understandable to a degree.

I just really wonder however if Facebook weren’t involved with Microsoft in any shape or form, would there be this 24/7 “Microsoft Security helpdesk”, should Facebook really be relied upon with your personal data if they require external help to secure their own social network, Facebook are showing time and time again that they are just as bad as Microsoft at securing people’s data, recent reports from discussed how a Candian hacker had found a loophole in the privacy settings of Facebook and was able to access personal photo’s.

The most concerning thing is that this is happening before Facebook even emerges out of the “walled garden” it currently inhabits, is it really viable for them to expose their network to an open data stream if they can’t even contain viruses at the internal, private profile level. However does that necessarily mean I think Facebook should stay in the “walled garden” to create a damage limitation model, of course not, in fact if reports from bear any relevance to the future of Facebook’s Open plan then things could get very exciting!

On the whole, I can certainly acknowledge with rapid growth in users and increased popularity Facebook will garner these security issues, however I am not sure whether I agree with Microsoft being Facebook’s go-to for security help and putting it’s “investment” in Facebook to better use, haven’t Facebook got enough smart engineers and data management teams who can become more adaptive and agile to managing the issue, I believe that if you have a huge network like Facebook you have got to be much more aware of the overall problem, and contain it much faster.


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