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Facebook Opens Up Home Addresses and Phone Numbers 459

Posted by timothy
from the 1600-pennsylvania-avenue-should-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Do you really want third-party app developers on Facebook to be able to access your mobile phone number and home address? Facebook has announced that developers of Facebook apps can now gather the personal contact information from their users. Security firm Sophos describes it as 'a move that could herald a new level of danger for Facebook users' and advises users to remove their home address and phone numbers from the network immediately."
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Facebook Opens Up Home Addresses and Phone Numbers

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  • Just you wait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tiberiumx (1221152) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @06:23PM (#34899704)

    Yeah, delete all you want now. Next Facebook will open up the history for every field. Think of the cool 'dating/breakup timeline' an application could build.

  • by paeanblack (191171) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @06:31PM (#34899774)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_directory [wikipedia.org]

    I grew up when phone numbers were public information. Everybody had a book where you could look up the phone number and address of anyone in the area. A few people were unlisted at their own request, but this was the exception.

    Phone numbers and addresses were treated as public knowledge.

    When cell phones first arrived, receiving calls cost money, so cell phone numbers were kept private. Now that the cost of incoming calls is much, much lower, there's little need to keep treating these things as private, especially with people replacing land lines with cell phones.

    The problem lies not with facebook making this data available; the problem lies with everyone who pretends this is secret information to begin with. Some companies consider your phone number to be a unique identifier. Other (idiotic) companies treat it as an authenticator...something nobody else knows. Mix those two and BAD SHIT HAPPENS.

    SSNs are treated the same way. Some places use them for identification and others use them as a freaking password. Frequently an individual bank or credit provider will be using a SSN as both a username and password simultaneously. THAT is the heart of the problem.

    Would knowing the address for the White House help you steal Obama's identity. No, because everybody knows that is public knowledge. The problem is the people who think "wow, this guy knows his own address, so he obviously must be who he claims to be, because nobody else would know that"

  • Re:Another option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fishexe (168879) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @06:36PM (#34899800) Homepage

    And you trust FB to honor your choice of options?

    Which is the real problem.

    Facebook is no longer just a website run by a couple of college kids. It is a business - a big business - and like any business their number one priority is making as much money as possible.

    Sadly, this is one big business that was probably creepier when it was just a website run by a couple of college kids, one of whom once said about people's Facebook data, 'People just submitted it. I don't know why. They "trust me". Dumb fucks.' At least now he has investors to sometimes keep him in check, a little bit, maybe.

  • Re:and? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @06:38PM (#34899818) Journal

    It's the old "then they came for me" thing. Even if Facebook users are insufferable cunts, they are the cool crowd and any legislation or standard corporate policy (but I repeat myself) concerning privacy will be determined by how they react to what might hitherto have been regarded as an offensive breach of privacy.

    IOW, if Facebook is allowed to continue behaving like this, people will just go, "oh you don't have any privacy anyway, get over it!" with your viewpoint being drowned out. In fact, I've heard a lot of younger people say this. (And a small subset of older guys who always end up having been involved in some way in their employment history with processing large amounts of personal data.)

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @07:05PM (#34900066)

    Actually I used to have my contact info in my profile because I trust my friends

    My friends already know my name, address, phone number, e-mail address, where I work, etc...... There would be no need to ever put it on Facebook.

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Sunday January 16, 2011 @07:37PM (#34900322) Journal

    Hi. This is 2 years from now. You gave us the missing piece of the puzzle to narrow down which Billy Smith you are. Now the game changes completely.

    Regards, Marketers in 2012

  • Re:Duh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by formfeed (703859) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @07:45PM (#34900380)

    No one will know if the Billy Smith they see on Facebook living "somewhere in Oregon" is B. Smith #36 in the phone book. If they can actually get that information off your profile the game changes completely.

    And that time will come eventually. And it will apply to all your old data as well.

    Companies are data mining like crazy. I never put personal information online, but since companies are scanning in public records and then connect that information, they do have my age, my address, two of my last three residences correctly identified, and got me linked correctly to my in-laws. The income bracket they guessed from the neighborhood.

    Within the next couple years some company will be able to come up with a probabilistic algorithm that links this information to your face book account. People will be able to buy a profile of you that includes your personal data, all old blog posts (analyzed for character flaws) and some old college pictures of you, some friend had on line years ago. And a few more years and picture recognition software will be able to start with known pictures and then find you on other pictures, pattern recognition will be able to determine the likely author of anonymous rants. And that all can be done on old data, that was never meant to come back 20 years later.

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Sunday January 16, 2011 @08:15PM (#34900580)

    The tactic is "monetize, monetize, monetize!" Their advertisers demand more and more personal data. Now that FB is this defacto monopoly on all things social media, they'll keep handing it over for further profits. FB is a corporation, the sole reason for its existence is to make money. I don't know why people can't accept that. Its why I don't like to use it. I know that to FB we're datamining goldmines.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:16AM (#34902014)

    I wonder if this is a tactic to see just how much bullshit people will put up with.

    By my experience, the answer to that is quite a bit.

    Just recently I decided to test just how much trolling it would take to get one of my "friends" to unfriendly me. He wasn't really a friend, I added him back in the heady days of 2007 when we added everyone and their dog. Lets just call him Frank, Frank's a bit childish and petty to start off with so I thought he'd be a perfect target. Better yet he just started to use his facebook page as an amateur marketing tool for some "artists" he was "managing" (meaning local performers he kind of hung around with). So Frank is also a bit of a pillock.

    Frank had already blocked me because I own an Android phone and Frank didn't like posts about the latest thing I was doing with it so I had to post under Franks posts. I began with intellectual trolling, countering his arguments with logical discussion, this normally ended up with "you don't know what you're talking about" being the height of his counter arguments but nothing else. After a while I moved onto Grammar Nazism, and the responses elevated to ad-hominem.

    After about a week I elevated to obvious trolling, First Post and popular memes, most of these just got deleted. After about a week he disappeared from Facebook. He still logged on but stopped posting. Finally 2 weeks later he launched one of his bad attempts to market some band, I could of kept going with conventional trolling but instead I took the nuclear option and hit him with a two girls and one cup link. 20 minutes later I received a phone call from Frank, literally in tears asking me to stop and I simply asked him why didn't he just unfriendly me. Still sobbing he said he doesn't want his friend count to go down. I was already in the process of un-friending Frank. Frank took a lot of abuse for a tiny bit of social status, I think many Facebook users would be the same.

    I've got two facebook accounts, one is my real friends (now excluding Frank and most people like Frank who I couldn't give a rats clacker about) which is a very small list. The second is an account not under my real name which has everybody added including a lot of Thai and Philippino girls (I live in OZ, it's easy to pop over to the phils for some cheap, no strings attached action, they get de-friended when they start to ask for a lot of money).

    BTW, I'm not that much of a sociopath, this is not a normal experiment for me and I was just curious as to how much abuse it would take. It kind of spiralled out of control towards the end.

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