SCARY: How Your Child's Privacy Can Be Violated With Facebook And Klout

Even if your kids keep all their Facebook privacy settings tight and limited to visibility among friends only, if your children comment on a friend's public status update, that information becomes public.

If your kids comment on a friend’s public status update, that information becomes public, even if your children keep all their Facebook privacy settings limited to visibility among friends only.

Recently, the son of a woman who is a social media professional commented on his mother’s public Facebook post, and the influence measuring website Klout created a profile for him without his permission (I’ve withheld these people’s names to prevent even more exposure).

Technically, Klout can use this public comment to find you, connect you to the poster, and pull in your profile photo.

Also, at this time, there is no way to opt out of a Klout profile.

Granted, not everybody wants to remain completely anonymous, but if you do, or you want your children to, let them know not to comment on public posts.

Facebook’s Marian Heath clarified for us:

Thanks for raising this issue – – I help manage family safety at Facebook and wanted to take a moment to address it. To be clear, what you describe is not a bug, this the way public comments have always worked on Facebook. We think it’s important for adults and minors alike to be aware that comments made in public spaces – – on Facebook, elsewhere on the Internet, or indeed anywhere in the offline world – are, in fact, public. In particular, we spend a lot of time educating teens about how they represent themselves online and ensuring that they understand how to use our tools to control what they share. Separately, we’re investigating the company mentioned here to be sure that they are in compliance with our terms of service.

Brian Carter is the author of The Like Economy and co-author of the best-selling Facebook Marketing.