Who could have guessed? Social networking sites have proved to be a serious privacy threat. The new MI6 chief (who looks nothing like Dame Judi Dench), has been involved in a bit of a scandal because his wife had posted all sorts of personal information, pictures and other family details on her Facebook profile, which was not protected by any privacy settings.

It is important to keep a sense of proportion here. While the British press have displayed their usual mix of mockery and outrage, I was pleasantly surprised by the Foreign Secretary’s adequate response to all of the brouhaha surrounding the issue:

“You [are] leading the news with … the fact that there’s a picture that the head of the MI6 goes swimming. Wow, that really is exciting. It is not a state secret that he wears Speedo swimming trunks, for goodness’ sake let’s grow up.”

I actually agree with David Milliband there. While this may have been a lapse in the part of the wife of the future MI6 chief, it is hardly something to get your speedos tied up about, unless we suspect that Al-Qaeda has a plot to invade Britain with Neopets invitations. Nonetheless, something positive might come out of this incident. People may actually start taking their social networking seriously, and some may even consider that all of those pictures may not be such a good thing. Talking to my brother about Facebook, he informed me that he decided to remove all pictures of my nieces from the site because he was concerned about their privacy. Hear, hear!


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