I can’t get my sister-in-law to interact with me on Facebook, but she loves Pinterest and had been trying to get me to use it for a couple of months. Given the recent chatter on social media, I finally broke down and joined it, using my Facebook account to establish my Pinterest profile.
I then noticed that I was receiving emails that so-and-so was now following me on Pinterest. At first I thought, wow, I’m super popular. Then reality set in, and I decided to see what was up. In a quick call to my sister-in-law, I found out that she had received an email saying I was now following her on Pinterest, so she followed me back. My reaction? I never asked to follow you. I didn’t ask to follow anybody.
It turns out that when I used my Facebook account to create my profile, Pinterest accessed my personal information to automatically have me start following common connections. In my book, Pinterest broke a basic tenet of online privacy: to not invasively use my online information.