Tag: privacy

Does A Facebook “Like” Equal “Friend”?

I’ve stated in the past that I am very careful who I be-“friend” on Facebook. No professional contacts, no marginal ‘acquaintances’ – just genuine friends. Facebook security problems of the past have scared the heck out of me, so I have everything locked down to friends-only.

“Likes”, on the other hand, are limitless in my mind. I’ll gladly “Like” a web site, a fan page, or a group with no qualms whatsoever. And why not? If I “Like” the Swedish Bikini Mud Wrestling team, why should I be embarrased if only my closest friends know this rather than strangers and acquaintances on the periphery? (My friends will forgive me; a potential employer, maybe not so much.)

But does Facebook consider “friends” and “likes” to be equivalent? The reason I wonder, worriedly, is because I found my photo stream posted on the “Photos From Our Members” sidebar of one of the groups that I previously “liked”. Just because I “like” a group in no way means that I want to be-“friend” every one of that group’s members or expose my personal info to them. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Facebook treats “friends” and “likes” very similarly. Can group members and fan pages see my photos? My wall? My personal profile? That is so not cool.

As a programmer, I can concede that the mechanics behind “friend” and “like” are probably very similar and there may be considerable code re-use between those two actions. But the permissions model between the object types should be decidedly different. I’m not convinced that they are. I am searching for confirmation one way or the other…

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This Just In: GPS Tracks Location

On Apr 20, two researchers presenting at the “Where 2.0″ conference disclosed that Apple iPhones (and 3G iPads) were found to contain accessible location tracking histories. The “Apple is tracking you” meme spread like wildfire on the Internet and by nightfall had made its way to the evening news, complete with overly simplified technical hand-waving and obligatory man-on-the-street outrage.

In the clearer light of day, some revelations: (continue reading…)


The Impersonal Nature of Social Media

We’ve all heard the social media horror stories – pedophiles on MySpace, away-from-home Facebook clues to entice burglars, etc. The typical security advice is to carefully control (and periodically review) your privacy settings and be very diligent about what information is offered up.

But there is another more obvious measure…

(continue reading…)


Facebook Insecurity

As Betty White – who hosted Saturday Night Live last night as a result of a grassroots Facebook campaign – said in her opening monologue, “now that I know what Facebook is, it sure seems like a huge waste of time”. Since I am a participant myself, I won’t hypocritically debate the merits. However, I will continue to call attention to the potential privacy risks that careless Facebook participation can incur. And one of the biggies lies with application security.

(continue reading…)


I Spokeo Too Soon

Perhaps you may have heard of Spokeo? I assume it is pronounced Spo-Keo rather than Spoke-Oh. It is billed as “not your grandma’s phonebook”. It claims to have been around since 2005, but I have only just now heard of it. I haven’t seen much press, but it certainly is getting word-of-mouth buzz. And not in a good way. Much of it is more concern than interest.

(continue reading…)


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