Yes I think it should be made private but for safety reasons they should just leave it the way it is.
For example let's say someone had accessed your account, changed your password from preventing you to gain access into the account and made some transactions. All you need to do is get another account, check the wallet activity and find your way from there.
If it is to be made hidden then as the account is stolen, you will have no idea on what's happening on it . So you just remain at the mercy of the hacker.
It being public could also be because Steemit os all about transparency and no one is hidden under the name of privacy. So if you perform any illegal activity, it could be seen by all.
So it restricts some people's movements in the community.
Since you already said "front-ends" here, then a big YES! I really do think that wallets on Steem platforms should be hidden(at least in UI) and private.
There are a number of good reasons for this but is mostly related to security. With how open everyone's wallet is on Steem now, a number of phishers have been targeting middle to large stake holders in hope to get access to their accounts.
If wallet is hidden, then this would drastically reduce the amount of fishers and beggars as they won't know who to target. (Unless they are good at technical stuffs).
Second reason is that a lot of Steem users have been basing their level of engagement towards each other based purely on one's wallet size. So if it is somehow hidden, we can at least make sure who is genuine or who is just fishing for our mere upvotes.
Front ends? They are public on the blockchain so that wouldn't do much good. There already are front ends such as Steemworld that allow you to look at what goes on with any account in great detail. Whether or not the blockchain should be hardforked to make the wallets private is another matter. That would be a huge change. Steem is a Delegated Proof-of-Stake chain. I don't know how private you can make it because of (delegated) staking being part of the consensus algorithm. But one thing is certain: private transactions would greatly increase the cost of transactions and thus hurt scalability to the detriment of the network's ability to be a social media data layer.
I will say a YES and a NO because I have my reasons of going for such decision.
Yes, the wallet on Steemit and other front ends should be private to ensure proper security of every Steemit user. Some people may want to start checking on your wallet with the intention of knowing how rich you are. If they are able to observe how wealthy you are due to the public wallet and front ends, there is high possibility they start getting closer to you with the intention of scamming you or stealing money from you. This won't happen if the wallet is private because no one can know your worth.
On the other hand, I think Steemit wallet and the front ends should be public just like the way it is to enable users recognize Steemit whales. If you are able to know the whales by checking on their huge SP this will make you recognize the whales. This will also enable you to be cautious about your attitude towards them to avoid getting flagged from them. You can also make use of this great opportunity to build relationship with them so that they can support you because this is one of the best ways of attaining success on Steemit.
I hope I was able to do justice to the above question by explaining my reasons for such answers.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.
My opinion is yes, they should be private. My reason for feeling this way is because I believe by the wallet not being private, large accounts can potentially make themselves targets to the right people. If I had a million SP, I think I would have issues sleeping at night. I really mean it too, because I would be thinking someone is searching for me, with the intentions of getting my private key, by which ever means necessary, it's a crazy, scary thought.
Nice relevant question.
No. I like to be able to see what is going on. It also helps people fight abuse by seeing where money is being funneled to and from.