Facebook: Fear not on Graph Search privacy
By ALEX BYERS | 1/28/13 12:33 PM EST
Facebook’s top privacy officer reiterated Monday the social network’s new Graph Search mantra: Your privacy settings are safe.
The revolutionary search feature, which allows users to query available data by asking simple questions, is rolling out to testers and eventually more users. But some criticism is rumbling amidst one early user’s launch of a blog highlighting information that is made easier to glean through Graph Search.
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“In terms of privacy and honoring privacy, we are absolutely honoring the controls that people have in the audience that they’ve selected with every piece of content that they share,” Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said at a Data Privacy Panel at The George Washington University on Monday morning. “I think what some of these searches are showing is that there is information that people might have shared with an audience that they didn’t want to see it,” she added, touting the social network’s tools that allow users to check and adjust a data point’s privacy settings.
YOU HAVE SEEN THIS MESSAGE
So this is what we all have to do now:
Just so everyone on my friends list knows that I completed this and I am done! Facebook has changed their privacy settings once more!! Due to the new “graph app” anyone on Facebook (including other countries ) can see your pictures, likes & comments. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE!!! Those of you who do not keep my information from going… out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of family and work that I don’t want strangers to have access to! This happens when friends click “like” or “comment”….automatically, their friends would see our posts, too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “LIFE EVENTS and “COMMENTS & LIKES”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy & paste this on your wall. Once i see this posted on your page, I will do the same.
THIS WILL NOT TAKE AFFECT IN TWO WEEKS. SO NO NEED TO GET YOUR UNDIES IN A BUNDLE JUST YET. GRAPH SEARCH IS SLATED FOR RELEASE THIS SUMMER, WITH BETA TESTING OPENING UP TO SELECT USERS IN THE INTERIM. TIME WILL TELL WHETHER PRIVACY AND SECURITY CONCERNS ARE WARRANTED.
Graph Search appears to be well suited for serving up the very data that scammer might use to dupe a target. Though Graph Search not yet available to users, Facebook is offering a glimpse of what it search might yield. Based simply on the outcome of a sample search, I could see how the tool could be used to quickly gather enough personal data about fellow Facebook users to successfully launch social-engineering-style attacks.
For my sample search, I logged in with a bogus Facebook account I created long ago when I was interested in playing admittedly insipid Facebook games — the ones that require you to have as many Facebook friends as possible in order to advance. I have around 445 friends on this account; I know there are other Facebook game-players with more — as well as an underground market for such accounts.
I clicked the sample Graph Search search button, and it looked up “people who live in my city.” In this case, the city was New York, New York, per my account settings. The search results included a list of 12 people, none of whom I know in real life. As far as I can tell, they are all either Facebook friends or friends of friends. To me, they’re all strangers on the Internet.
Accompanying the dozen search results are the users’ names and a profile picture, along with such data as where they live, how old they are, where they work or attend school, whether they are in a relationship, what sort of music they like, what interests they have, and the Facebook friends we have in common. All of that data could be used for social-engineering-style chicanery.Info World