Facebook users unwittingly revealing personal information thanks to way privacy settings work

Cambridge study says social networking site's public profiles could be used to access private details.

Hosted by FreeImageHosting.net Free Image Hosting Service

Millions of Facebook users could be unwittingly giving away personal information because of the way in which the social networking website's privacy settings work, researchers said this week.

In a study presented to a conference in Nuremberg, a team from the University of Cambridge's computer laboratory showed how Facebook public profiles could be used to find out personal information despite appearing to contain only a few details.

The researchers used a computer programme to sift through tens of thousands of public profiles – visible to internet search engines such as Google – in order to build detailed maps of people's relationships.

In the paper, called Eight Friends Are Enough, the Cambridge team pointed out that it was possible to reconstruct somebody's friends list – which Facebook calls the "social graph" – in a way that could allow marketers, governments and even criminals to understand the private relationships between different people.


No comments: