A few days ago I got an invitation to join a new social networking site from a co-worker. (Social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to share information like photos, videos, and personal messages.)
At first I thought it was strange that she was inviting me to join since we work together and already communicate several times a day using both high-tech and low-tech methods. Even though I thought the invitation might have been a fraudulent e-mail message, I sent it back to her and told her I would join, if she was sure the invitation wasn't a scam.
A few minutes later I received an e-mail message from my co-worker saying that she was horrified to learn that the social networking site had e-mailed an invitation to all of her contacts without her knowledge.
When you first sign up, many popular social networking sites offer to scan your e-mail address book to find out if other people you know are on that particular social network. Then you can choose whether you want to connect with others who are already on the network or send invitations to people who aren't. These sites should ask your permission to send out invitations. My co-worker claims that this particular site did not ask her permission.