Facebook’s Security Breach: What It Means for Bands

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Facebook has over four hundred million users, and its importance for bands cannot be underestimated.

But what about privacy?  Just last week, Facebook worked to patch a security breach that allowed access to private chat activity, the latest in a string of holes.  Suddenly, private disclosures ran the risk of being not-so-private, a reminder that privacy may truly be dead on the web.

But hacks and cracks are just one part of the problem.  Oftentimes, information is shared inadvertently, thanks to a privacy policy that leans towards more sharing, not less.  Just recently, fifteen privacy and consumer protection organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Washington lawmakers are definitely paying attention.  In response, Facebook has hired former Bush administration official Tim Muris to defend its privacy practices on the Hill.

Separately, Facebook continues to grow as a serious and prized target among hackers because of its sheer size.  That suggests more cracks, breaches, and scams ahead.

And the solution for users, and bands in particular?  The extreme response is to ditch Facebook and keep secrets safe forever.  But the average death metal band is not housing secrets of national importance.  Perhaps the more prudent response is to treat Facebook – and other networks – with heavy caution when it comes to private details and correspondence.  Smart executives save the confidential conversations for the phone – or even in-person conversations – to make sure things don’t leak (to Digital Music News or anywhere else).  Bands may want to follow this level of prudence as well.

But on the band front, the main bits of information requiring caution involve personal details, confidential or unresolved plans, or pre-release cuts.  For example, details related to venue payments, intra-band drama, or the location of rough cuts and unfinished releases should be treated with utmost care.

The rest is all gravy.  Other bits, including ‘unannounced’ tour dates and other fan fodder, are benign nuggets for fans.  In fact, smart groups will purposely leak those details to pique the interest of superfans, especially ahead of content releases or tours.