Friday, 7 September 2007

Facebook to knock down garden wall

Long criticised for being a 'walled garden' that doesn't share its data with the wider internet, Facebook is now preparing to make its members' profile information searchable by Google.

While some will see this as a victory for transparency and information-sharing, others are more circumspect. I'm already wary of 'people-search' engines like ZoomInfo that aggregate data about me (and you, try it) from various places on the internet and pull it into one place to create a spookily detailed profile.

We recently placed an article for our client Complinet that talks about the risks of identity theft from Facebook. Now that your personal information is becoming even more public, the risks are becoming even greater. Be alert.

1 comment:

Sean McManus said...

The worst thing about Facebook is that it insists on you giving it a date of birth, which is one of the things used to combine and deduplicate data from multiple sources. The page plug-ins also seem rather vague about where your personal data might end up - it seems to be handed over to whoever developed the plug-in, which isn't ideal.

But the only way to use sites like Facebook anyway is on the assumption that everything you post will end up being seen by everyone in the world. There are controls to limit who sees your data, but with all that juicy data in there, Facebook will soon be targeted by hackers if it isn't already. If you assume your data is already in the public domain, it doesn't matter how people can search for it.