I recently decided to give Xobni for GMail a try. It does some wicked integration between your Google contacts, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Basically, the idea is unification of contact information so that you’re getting a more complete view and experience of people you receive correspondence from.
The problem is that this unification comes at the cost of privacy. These various networks are greedy enough by themselves; combining them together into yet another service is pretty much a formal request for some kind of trouble.
But I don’t care.
My unstated (until now) policy is simple: I am willing to take a small to medium privacy hit in return for functionality that improves my interactions with those I care about. We are being forced to make that decision, and I have done so. Life matters more than the fear of a possible negative outcome that is unlikely to be that serious.
I’ll be dead soon. We all will. Anything that magnifies our interaction with those important to us should be worth some significant amount of risk. There is no empire for us here; it all goes away. There is only friendship and experience while we are here.
So my policy now is that if a service is popular, powerful, and allows me to interact with my friends in a superior way, I’ll likely consider that service unless there is some sort of obvious indication that said service is malicious and intends to do harm. If they have any sort of reasonable controls in place for protecting me, or allowing me to protect myself, I’m probably going to use it.
Life > Fear. ::