Facebook gets more in your face

Anindya Ghose, co-director of the Center for Business Analytics at New York University, said Facebook is reaching deeper into users' personal lives but that this is basically what social networks have done since they first bounded onto the scene.

"It's just the way things are," he said.

I agree. Anyone who chooses to use a service like Facebook or Google has made a decision to share potentially intimate details of his or her life — and if you don't think your Google searches reveal oodles of info about who you are, you're in for a very rude awakening.

Of course, Facebook won't suddenly gain access to info it has no business sticking its nose into. For example, it won't be peeking over your shoulder as you bank online or pay bills, at least not until those services are offered within the Facebook universe.

With Facebook Home, the company is slicing itself a bigger piece of your personal pie. Perhaps the most important question is whether people want their phones to be so Facebook-intensive or whether they prefer keeping the social network caged up with other apps.

I suspect some will enjoy being on Facebook all the time and some won't, just as others will have similar opinions about the inevitable Google, Twitter and other such interfaces that will be coming down the pike.

"From an advertiser's perspective, this is obviously a great thing," said Michael Trusov, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Maryland. "The question is how much users will be in control of things."

Here's a little advice: Take a few minutes to fiddle with your privacy settings.

Facebook may want to treat you as if everything you do is public knowledge. But you don't have to make it easy for it.

David Lazarus' column runs Tuesdays and Fridays. He also can be seen daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and followed on Twitter @Davidlaz. Send your tips or feedback to david.lazarus@latimes.com.

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