Facebook privacy problems

Facebook privacy settings.

As many of you know I have been very hesitant in using Facebook because of privacy issues and Facebook policies on selling personally identifiable information.

Last month I started using aliases to test the Facebook platform and to write a Facebook application.
I was horrified to learn what information was accessible to me once a user clicks "Allow".

The video below shows how, when you use these applications they can gather information about your friends even if your friends have strict privacy settings.

Last month I noticed two new privacy settings. "Show my friends list" and "Tags in videos and photos". These new settings claim to stop friends seeing other friends and stop friends seeing your tag in photos. After playing with these settings I noticed all of my friends were still in the suggestion box for other friends to see and my tags are still shown on photos!!!!!!

I wrote to Patrick at Facebook.

Patrick asked me to send him a screen shot of the suggestions list from the friends account like a good support person does. (Make the customer do your work). I sent him the link and the screen shot. He wrote back to me saying that he could not divulge information about other Facebook users????? Ummm. At this point I needed to talk to someone else as Patrick clearly doesn’t know his job but I didn’t have any other options. I emailed Patrick again explaining how Facebook works and what did his last emailed have to do with the price of eggs.

He confirms that none of the privacy settings stop people finding out private information about you through your friends. This means that the following video could happen EASILY.

Until these issues are fixed I cannot use Facebook without an alias

If you want to know how to contact facebook, read my other post.

Update August 2010

My brother noticed the other day when looking at rotten tomatoes, it welcomed him by name. He has never signed up or logged in to an account with them so I started doing some research. Facebook is now giving other companies access to your information and friends. If you login to facebook you are logged in to many other sites. I seem to remember they promised not to do that.

By default you are sharing all of your list of friends, (so yes, I gave rotten tomatoes all of your details, sorry) If they were unscrupulous they would start spamming you.

To disable this "feature" they have added a bunch of new options in the privacy setting area. I just found a new call "Info accessible through your friends"


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