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100m Facebook Users' Details Published Online


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#1 AbleReach

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:19 PM

100M Facebook Users' Details Published Online

The personal details of 100 million Facebook users have been collected and published on the net in a downloadable file, meaning they will now be unable to make their publicly available information private.

Facebook, meanwhile, downplayed the issue, saying that no private date had been compromised.

The information was posted by Ron Bowes, an online security consultant, on the Internet site Pirate Bay to highlight privacy issues, the BBC reported.

It looks to me like they're saying the security consultant compiled what is easily available via FB, no hacking involved. I don't know for sure, because I haven't gotten through to the security consultant's site, or looked at the database.

I gave you the NBC New York article instead of the BBC version, because the NBC article has live links to Pirate Bay and the security consultant who posted this data. Don't imagine that those links have been working consistently today! There are something like 300 million FaceBook users. The security consultant's site is crashed and Pirate Bay is struggling.

#2 tam

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:28 PM

Yep, I read the same same thing and thought yep, this has been written by people without a clue to sound shocking. Like you I haven't gone through the in depth details but it sounds liked he compiled the data already freely available into a nice neat spreadsheet (the horror!)

#3 mrgoodfox

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:19 AM

I read the article too.

It is a scary fact for people who never meant for their info to be public.
It is a great opportunity for marketers
It paves the way for people giving up their privacy rights without even noticing.

#4 Wit

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:01 AM

I think people should lighten up. The web is public - one way or another. Just like a whispered conversation is. Or a secret walk in the park with your mistress. Or your nosepicking habit in your 'cubicle'.

People who trust websites to treat their info as state secrets are overly gullible IMHO.

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#5 glyn

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:14 AM

You can pull back millions of profiles from Google using straightforward advanced operators. Profiles and whatever you want. I am not surprised that this happened.

If there was suprise that this list could be compiled, it's a real example of how there is a difference between what people think they are granting, by opening their privacy settings, and what they are in fact allowing to happen.

This is the piece of the puzzle that no-one is dealing with.

IN the meantime the pubilc get surprised, the businesses do what they do best (seek to exploit as quickly as possible the loophole in privacy regulation) and the governments stand on the fence.

Yes, the T&C's of Facebook are very clear about the status of information set to "Everyone" (I've read them again and again, with my jaw on the floop), but there's also a question of the ethics in presenting information in a way that people understand.

Let me ask you something. If you walked into a bar would you immediately share all the information about yourself? NO, neither would I.

It would be very simple then for Facebook to lock down your privacy settings for say the first month of using it's service or until you decided to open up the channels.

A simple solution that would solve some problems initially, and deflect heat and the arguments away from the platform as a miner of personal data ad inifinitum.

But there's no way it would get done.

And herein lies the problem and the challenge in my book.

#6 wmw71190

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:42 AM

I understand the media fodder over this, but not the tech news reaction. From all of the sites I've looked at (CNET, NYTimes Tech, etc) they all seem to be blowing this way out of proportion. Yeah, so some programmer made a *GASP* automated crawler to index and capture PUBLIC data. Sound familiar? Yeah, Google's been doing it for some time now. This was bound to happen and its a shame that the media is taking advantage of the non-tech savvy people reading this.



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