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Facebook's Graph Search: Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye 245

Nerval's Lobster writes "Software developer Jeff Cogswell is back with an extensive under-the-hood breakdown of Facebook's Graph Search, trying to see if peoples' privacy concerns about the social network's search engine are entirely justified. His conclusion? 'Some of the news articles I've read talk about how Graph Search will start small and slowly grow as it accumulates more information. This is wrong—Graph Search has been accumulating information since the day Facebook opened and the first connections were made in the internal graph structure,' he writes. 'People were nervous about Google storing their history, but it pales in comparison to the information Facebook already has on you, me, and roughly a billion other people.' There's much more at the link, including a handy breakdown of graph theory."
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Facebook's Graph Search: Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye

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  • Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:09PM (#42822905)

    You kissed your privacy goodbye when you signed up for a social network.

  • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:36PM (#42823279) Journal
    Yes people let us live in fear. Fear the bogeyman. Hide your truth. Isn't it obvious this is the path to a brighter future.
  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:37PM (#42823289)

    Never heard of data aggregation?

    Are you friends with any on facebook, for example? They can extrapolate things about you from even that.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:46PM (#42823405)

    The funny thing is it doesn't document anything you don't let it. One can argue that the privacy settings should be adjusted by default to protect you... but you're getting a free account on a social network, what do you expect, a parade in your honor & some $?

    Nope, I'd expect to pay for the "free" account with my private information. This is why I don't use Facebook, and is also gp's point. Just because they're bartering for your information rather than charging you dollars does not mean it's free.

  • by dave69 ( 2786111 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:47PM (#42823413)
    If a foreign government agency had spent years gathering data, and was mining it for undisclosed (possibly nefarious) purposes, It would be known as a dangerous spy network, would be subjected to infiltration/corruption and possible attack. I completely fail to understand why people tell FB anything about themselves ever, and don't request immediate deletion of all the data held about them. When governments try and spy on someone, they get all upset about it, when FB does it, and freely allows the data to be sold to the highest bidder/anyone who cares to look, people think its really cool and useful. what does it take for people to say enough is enough? Is it too late now, since the data is already gathered? why do I fail to see the upside of FB and its data gathering ilk?
  • Because..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:50PM (#42823451) Homepage Journal

    People who post pictures of themself drunk, passed out pants round their ankles in the street are concerned with privacy.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:21PM (#42823825)


    Fake all you want to, they still have you nailed.

    People who doubt this should RTFA.

  • The real problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Eptishous ( 873977 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @04:41PM (#42824109) Homepage
    The real problem, As I see it, is that in the not too distant future:
    everyone in the US will essentially be forced to have a Social Network account to be able to function in modern society.

    More and more I see all manner of business and government entities handing responsibility over to FB for all sorts of things. It's actually quite disgusting, but not surprising given the (d)evolution of our database driven society. A centralized system of user accounts that almost everything done digitally can use?

    When I first saw the subtle changes taking place with FB, things like not being able to contact my local PBS television station unless I used FB , or not being able to enter a contest to see one of my favorite bands unless I used FB I knew it would be only a matter of time until everyone will be forced to have an account.

    Currently I don't have one, and never have. However I am part of a group that has an account, and my name and image are located there, so I'm "in the system" as it were.

    Once everyone is forced to have an account, then the next step will be for society in general to force those with accounts to update those accounts. There will come a time when via our smartphones those accounts will be updated automatically.
    It's almost at that point now:

    Who you've talked to.
    What you said.
    Where you went.
    What you bought.
    What you listened to.
    What you read.
    What you think.

    Disgusting, reprehensible, wrong
  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dins ( 2538550 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @05:18PM (#42824623)

    Sure they do.

    And if the FBI comes looking for it 190 days later (with or without a warrant) are they just going to say, "Sorry, we can't help you"?

    I'd love it to be true, but somehow I doubt it...

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PrimeNumber ( 136578 ) <PrimeNumber@exc i t> on Thursday February 07, 2013 @05:27PM (#42824769) Homepage

    Yes, but do you believe that Facebook will actually do that?

    This from a guy (Zuckerburg) that said his users were idiots for trusting him. Repeatedly he has lied, deceived and cheated his business associates, users, and media.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yoshi_mon ( 172895 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:25PM (#42827309)

    No, you kissed your privacy goodbye when you started interacting with others.

    And by you mean being born.

    Be it from Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and or Innovis. From something like LexisNexis or another background check type company. Or say even your past employers who have HR files on you. There are collections of data about you out there and often it is indeed for sale.

    Here is the thing. While there has been a successful effort to deregulate everything and anything, and any attempts at trying to regulate anything is met by fierce and well funded oppression, by in large the things I listed above still have some regulation tied to it. All the more so when the companies involved are looking to sell/share that information.

    "Social media" information however by enlarge unregulated data that is being sold/traded/hacked. That is what most of us who know more than just, "Durrrrr your information is out there anyway so who cares what I do online," understand. And why we tend to have some serious issues that we feel need to be discussed about the way this data is being gathered and analyzed without any oversight.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Friday February 08, 2013 @03:34AM (#42829687)

    But they don't purge spot for "friendX 1172" connected to your other friends. Basically they just take "your" name out and then fill it back in from other people's data.

    It's like how Google already has you by search terms, and web page cookies, and location/zip code before YOU ever actually sign into the service. So you can get "your" ads after a few minutes of surfing anonymously at the library.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor