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Facebook Suspends Personal Data-Sharing Feature 140

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the digital-foot-in-mouth dept.
Suki I writes "Facebook has 'temporarily disabled' a controversial feature that allowed developers to access the home address and mobile numbers of users. The social network suspended the feature, introduced on Friday, after only three days. The decision follows feedback from users that the sharing-of-data process wasn't clearly explained and criticism from security firms that the feature was ripe for abuse."
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Facebook Suspends Personal Data-Sharing Feature

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lose (1901896) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:37AM (#34915694)
    Tell users they can earn stuff to use on FarmVille, and people won't care so much anymore.
    • Tell users they can earn stuff to use on FarmVille, and people won't care so much anymore.

      Exactly. How else can they send you relevant ads, texts and other crap if they don't know the address and phone number of your FramVille Farm? And don't try to tell me the address is "the internet" or "the cloud" 'cuz no marketing company will fall for that one ;-)

    • Isn't that how the market is supposed to work? Trade one thing (home phone number and address) for another (free crap on Farmville)? After all, it's not like they can't get your phone number and address in the phone directory.

      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

        by scrib (1277042) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @11:10AM (#34916770)

        Actually, they can't. I don't have a landline, so I'm not in the phone directory.

        They can, however, access public records and I got many letters congratulating me on my house purchase last year and offer to insure/protect/refinance my mortgage. They couldn't tell that I paid cash and don't have a mortgage which made their attempts to like like the were from someplace important all the more laughable. That was a minor nuisance, but at least they COULD NOT CALL ME! The fact that I own a house makes for pretty poor marketing data outside of pest control and lawn service fliers.

        Facebook is a much richer and more intrusive source of advertising info. Primary email? Have some spam! Mobile number? IM offers! ASL? Creepy!
        If I hadn't white-walled my facebook account already, this would have done it.

        I agree that trading info for stuff is a perfectly valid market transaction. However, the user's information was being shared without the user's explicit consent and with no value to the user. I recognize that the USER isn't the OWNER of that information, facebook is, but I suspect most people don't realize that.
        "You gave facebook this information?"
        "Yes, but they are abusing it!"
        "Do you understand the verb 'gave'?"

        I simply do not trust facebook's application vetting process to work well enough to keep the information away from people with malicious intent.

        • What do you mean by "white-walled"?
          • White-walling a facebook account: deactivate the account upon exiting facebook. "This action will clean the account of all postings and only allow posting on your wall when you activate the account once again." from here [lockergnome.com]

            • But: I do use AdBlock Plus. I don't provide any phone numbers, only provide a junk e-mail address, and provide a city only for the address. I find I can tolerate Facebook's privacy shenanigans just fine... when I don't provide them with any information that would really violate my privacy.
              • by mrmeval (662166)

                My mailing address is a police station. The phone number goes to the mayors action line. The email address is to my server and it will give random incoherent error messages or psychotic responses which screw with the return headers in interesting ways.

                I miss telemarketers, getting death threats from them is 1,000 points in my favorite game Bait The Junk Callers.

        • I agree that trading info for stuff is a perfectly valid market transaction. However, the user's information was being shared without the user's explicit consent and with no value to the user. I recognize that the USER isn't the OWNER of that information, facebook is, but I suspect most people don't realize that.

          While I agree with you generally that Facebook should give adequate warning before sharing your personal information, my point was that the specific kind of information at issue is not really personal. Phone numbers and even street addresses are by definition meant to be accessible by other people, and at least where I live, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in your phone number or your street address. Which is why I don't list either on my Facebook account.

          Most people have already given permiss

          • The genie is out of the bottle; all the available data has likely been mined and is now sitting in various db caches, waiting for a script to become demographic spam. I would hope that some brave attorney general would decide that this is a privacy breech an spank 1) Zuckerberg et al 2) that silly Goldman Sachs that won't sell #1's stock, in the USA, and 3) each of the organizations that gleaned private data. But it's unlikely to happen, even in my dreams.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          The best thing to do with spam is make it cost the sender as much as possible in both time and money.

          For postal spam take the pre-paid envelope out, stuff it full of rubbish and stick it in the mailbox. Costs them the postage and maybe a nice surprise for whoever opens it.

          For email spam it can be a bit harder but there are plenty of scripts out there for stuffing web forms with fake data. If they include a valid return email address sometimes I forward a copy of all my other spam to them. Companies get exac

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        I kinda agree. I am a bit tired of people considering we should fight to protect the privacy of people who are giving it away without a thought and refuse to spend 5 minutes to learn anything about how internet works. Or, as Randall puts it better : http://xkcd.com/743/ [xkcd.com]
        • My impression from people I've spoken to about Facebook privacy issues is that they have a pretty good general idea of what they're giving away, and feel that it's a fair exchange. When FB does something underhanded, they raise a stink (often by joining a FB Group, natch) and FB backs down or they go modify their privacy settings.

        • If no one complains, it moves the data further from the expectation of privacy realm.

          At some point, if no one ever complains, the data on the internet won't need to be covered by privacy policies, because it is no longer considered private at all. That would be my only concern.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:39AM (#34915726)

    As an applications developer, lacking this feature means that I cannot increase my budget to hire more programmers and produce a better product. Without the personal information I have nothing to sell to advertisers, and must rely on much lower advertisement rates and donations from users.

    Users will suffer from lower-quality apps, and I'm sad that Facebook has taken this step. In a world of openness, this is a huge step backwards.

    I don't want to go back to a "pay to play" internet. Please lobby FB to reenable these features if you also believe in keeping the internet free.

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:43AM (#34915770)

      As an applications developer, lacking this feature means that I cannot increase my budget to hire more programmers and produce a better product. Without the personal information I have nothing to sell to advertisers, and must rely on much lower advertisement rates and donations from users.

      Users will suffer from lower-quality apps, and I'm sad that Facebook has taken this step. In a world of openness, this is a huge step backwards.

      I don't want to go back to a "pay to play" internet. Please lobby FB to reenable these features if you also believe in keeping the internet free.

      This would be more convincing if there were any quality Facebook apps in existence. Don't worry, though. No lobbying is necessary. As always, Facebook will quietly re-enable the identity theft features as soon as the public's attention drifts elsewhere. Then you can get back to chipping away at privacy for the sake of profit.

      • I disagree (Score:4, Funny)

        by Haedrian (1676506) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:55AM (#34915942)

        I think that the "Spam your wall with requests for people to take this stupid test" application is very high quality indeed and would greatly be helped my knowing where I live.

      • One thing that might be helpful is simply to remove your phone number from your FB account, like I did.
      • It's moot anyways.

        Any Developer who wanted to sell private information had access to your personal info and copied it to their own personal database as soon as the info became available. The 3 days it took to revert down was basically just long enough for Zynga to update their tables. And just like Facebook never deleting your profile, the developer doesn't delete the data they had access to.

        So I mean, re-enabling the feature would only be there to keep their data up to speed

    • I don't want to go back to a "pay to play" internet. Please lobby FB to reenable these features if you also believe in keeping the internet free.

      I believe in keeping the internet free ... of developers like you ;-) Nothing personal (as in name, address & phone number).

      • by Suki I (1546431)

        I don't want to go back to a "pay to play" internet. Please lobby FB to reenable these features if you also believe in keeping the internet free.

        I believe in keeping the internet free ... of developers like you ;-) Nothing personal (as in name, address & phone number).

        The first comment on my FB page about this was

        "Lee Alford - Isn't it kinda of stupid to put your home address and mobile numbers on a public site? Just because there is a blank, doesn't mean you have to fill it in?"

        I agree, but I did have to give them a cell number to get my pick for a user name. Pretty sure that is not what they are talking about in that app.

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          I agree, but I did have to give them a cell number to get my pick for a user name.

          You mean a facebook.com/SukiI username?
          Because I'm pretty sure I put a question mark in the phone # blank and never looked back.

    • by Utini420 (444935)

      I believe I speak for everyone when I say,
      tough shit.

    • I'd rather have a low quality app than have my phone number and address in the hands of telemarketers, thank you very much. The 'net isn't free if I have to surrender personal information to developers of your ilk just so you can make a buck. It's stuff like that that keeps me off of facebook and makes me leery of getting a cell phone.
      • by Rockoon (1252108)
        You gave your phone number and address to facebook, so its your dumb-assed fault.

        The rest of us have no sympathy for you, and don't care what "personal information" facebook gives out to its partners, because we have assumed all along that facebook gives 100% of information to its partners.

        [pointing at you] haa ha!
        • by peragrin (659227)

          The problem is only 10% of facebook users are like you. the other 90% blindly fill in all blanks with all available information provided Just like the good sheeple the government ahs trained them to be

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            Moooo....

          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            People who give out their personal information to facebook, are the same people who will also give it out to someone else.

            So what you describe as a 'problem' actually isn't. The argument then devolves into who you get to vilify for what is essentially inevitable. If not facebook, then twitter, google, microsoft, apple, ...

            So again I say "haa ha!"
      • Facebook has already hit me with a pink screen requiring my mobile number to unlock my account once. My response was to abandon Zynga games, restart another Facebook account and abandon the old one.

        It's apparently a common problem when multiple people log in from the same computer. Several folks with families on one computer responded to my post on Zynga saying they'd all had the same problem. FB requires one phone per person and they had kids playing- no mobile so everything was lost.

        I use FB a lot less

    • by macraig (621737)

      Why are people modding this as funny? Is it an inside joke that depends upon me being part of the clique, part of BadAnalogyGuy's inner circle, to recognize that his tongue was jammed in his cheek as he wrote?

      I certainly hope he was kidding.

    • by Gripp (1969738)
      we already click ads, allow (often unknowingly) devs to track our every move on the web and buy items via microtransactions. something as dangerous as giving out our personal contact information just doesn't seem necessary.
    • by gblackwo (1087063)
      Perhaps it is because I am feeling ill this morning- but I could see this being taken seriously
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:44AM (#34916490) Homepage

      That's OK, I started a thread with friends on FB to change all that personal information to fake info to screw with scumbag app developers.

      There is now another 350 people on facebook that has their home address as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC and 202-456-1414 as their phone number

      Basically you are a FOOL if you give a website your real info if it's not being used to send items you bought to your home.

      • Basically you are a FOOL if you give a website your real info if it's not being used to send items you bought to your home.

        You can't really have anything delivered to you without an address, true. But that doesn't necessarily mean those sites wouldn't sell you out either. I still agree with you that one shouldn't give up something for nothing.

      • I just changed mine to Suite 300, 156 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301 and +1 650.543.4800. If facebook wants advertisers to contact me directly, they can field the calls and forward the mail to Australia.

        I also passed these details on.

    • by Imagix (695350)

      As an applications developer, lacking this feature means that I cannot increase my budget to hire more programmers and produce a better product. Without the personal information I have nothing to sell to advertisers, and must rely on much lower advertisement rates and donations from users.

      Users will suffer from lower-quality apps, and I'm sad that Facebook has taken this step. In a world of openness, this is a huge step backwards.

      I don't want to go back to a "pay to play" internet. Please lobby FB to reenable these features if you also believe in keeping the internet free.

      I can't decide if this was serious or not..... :O

  • Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:46AM (#34915816)

    3 days was enough for most of the big apps to collect most of the data from the nearly entire userbase.

    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:07AM (#34916068) Homepage

      Exactly what I was thinking. Three days is an eternity to have such things like that open. Harvesting the data has already occurred and cannot be "undone."

      Still, people stupid enough to put that information in there ALMOST deserve to have it exploited. I say almost because "ignorance/stupidity" is not a valid excuse for exploiting people. Children are ignorant and stupid and yet we have laws that say it is rape to have sex with them simply because they aren't capable of making a good and informed decision about whether or not it is good for them. So clearly, at some level, we recognize that ignorant and stupid people need to be PROTECTED from exploitation and I don't think age should be the only factor worthy of consideration.

      • There is no consistant, objective, scalable way to measure something as nebulous as naivete. The way to protect people from stupidity and ignorance is to educate them so that they are no longer ignorant or stupid. Legislating against exploiting stupidity is as intractible as the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror", and a "war on exploitation" would be just as wasteful and detrimental to society as all the other bullshit "wars". The billions wasted on such a war would be better spent on an improved educat
        • by erroneus (253617)

          And yet, there are consumer protection laws in place and I think we need more. The fact is, there is still far too much about ourselves that we don't have access to or control over. And when there are errors, it is between nearly impossible and completely impossible to get them corrected. (For example, credit report related issues.)

          So as we move forward, entire industries are developing surrounding the collection and sale of personal information for literally any purpose imaginable.

          NO ONE can know everyth

    • by nametaken (610866) *

      This "feature" required explicit permission from a user on a per-application basis. I sincerely doubt the entire userbase of Facebook independently visited and authorized each 3rd party they use to glean this data over a 3-day window.

  • Mine's empty but I was going to fill it in with his address and phone.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:57AM (#34915984) Homepage Journal

    Consider again Facebook's recent proposal that they become the new unified messaging service. Every email, text and IM goes through them.

    And consider again how many times Facebook opens up private data and hands it out.

    • "Over the weekend, we got some useful feedback that we could make people more clearly aware of when they are granting access to this data," Facebook wrote. "Since this is only the 13,125th time we've done this, you can be sure that it was an honest mistake, and it will never, ever happen again. Keep on trustin', dipshits!"
  • Shocked! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Painted (1343347) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:58AM (#34915992) Homepage
    I, for one, am shocked, shocked! that Facebook of all companies has introduced something so invasive!
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yaa 101 (664725) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:01AM (#34916018) Journal

    Why is it so hard for people to understand that with Facebook and other so called free stuff that they are the product that is being sold.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Why is it so hard for people to understand that with Facebook and other so called free stuff that they are the product that is being sold.

      The general public doesn't understand the power, or the value, of information. Part of that is the fundamental misunderstanding of the technology involved. There's a belief that there is anonymity in a crowd. And we continue to look at our systems as "computers" when computations aren't nearly as interesting as the ability to index and sort. Get a label on someone (or better yet, many labels) and they stand out from even the largest crowd (or they become parts of very tailored, selected crowds that they

      • too much value is placed on such information, and the information gathering, grouping, etc... is not as infallible, nor as interesting as one might think?

        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          too much value is placed on such information, and the information gathering, grouping, etc... is not as infallible, nor as interesting as one might think?

          And yet Facebook is making how much money by gathering, grouping, etc. this sort of information?

          • by bjk002 (757977)

            Groupthink is a marvelous phenomenon, contagious to all sorts...

            • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

              Groupthink is a marvelous phenomenon, contagious to all sorts...

              It's possible we have an entire advertising industry that is self delusional, sure.

    • by Tim C (15259)

      We understand it, but that does not mean that we have to quietly accept every change, that we're not allowed to contact them and say "Woah, hang on - if that's the price then I for one am not willing to pay it!"

    • by icebike (68054)

      Why is it so hard for people to understand that with Facebook and other so called free stuff that they are the product that is being sold.

      Because Google doesn't sell user information (they instead use it to sell you shit) everyone thinks FB is the same.

      Then again selling ones self has been a big part of the Facebook culture since its inception.

  • Damage is done... privacy is no more... They have your info after 3 days.

    This is the time when I really like to say I don't use facebook.
    • by daid303 (843777)

      Damage is done... privacy is no more... They have your info after 3 days.

      I think your privacy was gone as soon as you put it in there.

      The rule is simple, don't put your personal details into something where they are not needed. I have a facebook account to keep in touch with some friends, and I don't care about most of the privacy violations they try to do. Because there is nothing about me in there. 1 photo, my name, spam email address, and that's it. The only websites that know my home address are the ones that need to physically send me stuff.

  • A few days ago... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dunezone (899268) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:03AM (#34916032) Journal
    A few days ago there were comments on Slashdot on how they will keep probing at making user data more visible to applications. When they go too far they will take a step back and wait it out to try again.

    The decision follows feedback from users that the sharing of data process wasn't clearly explained and criticism from security firms that the feature was ripe for abuse.

    So basically they will just wait another few months, have a better explanation(an added sentence), and try again.

    It really is a shame what Facebook has become. I joined back in 2005 when you had to register your account to a university with a university email address. Not many people had it, it felt like a unique little club that only a limited number of people could get into. The security was better in the sense that you had almost full control over anything anyone could see.

    But now anyone can have a FB page from your grandmother to a company, it lost that unique feeling of being part of a club that was closed to outsiders.

    I sanitized my account about 2 years ago with fake information except for my name and two photos. When they released the ability to backup your account I tried it and to my surprise all that was left was my sanitized information. Could old photos and posts be in their system? Yeah, but nothing that could really be used against me, although others that just posted whatever they wanted will not fair so well.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      But now anyone can have a FB page from your grandmother to a company, it lost that unique feeling of being part of a club that was closed to outsiders.

      Once again, yesterday's Dilbert [dilbert.com] seems apropos here. I definitely seems like every company nowadays has a Facebook page and thinks it is necessary for business. I've yet to encounter one I can't do business with without Facebook, but the first time I do that company is never going to see me again.

      Even my 70 year old mother has come to the conclusion that Fa

      • by Haedrian (1676506)

        I still find it amazingly stupid that now in printed adverts you get.

        "www.[the company's website].com
        JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!"

        There are all too many instances of this happening. Even 'serious' companies like 5 star hotel firms are doing it now - not just the pseudo-hip companies.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          There are all too many instances of this happening. Even 'serious' companies like 5 star hotel firms are doing it now - not just the pseudo-hip companies.

          Well, they've got, what ... several hundred million users or so? I can see why marketers would realize they can't ignore it.

          It has become inarguably pervasive. Twitter seems to be about as frequent on the web pages of pretty much every company as well.

          To me it's like IRC ... and I got bored with that in the 90s, so I've always looked at Facebook as kinda

      • Even my 70 year old mother has come to the conclusion that Facebook is something that is a little sketchy and should have the minimum possible information in it -- when senior citizens start to realize that, you gotta figure the writing is on the wall.

        "Senior citizens" are likely to be the first to realize that. In fact, most will have realized it from the start. It's the twenty-somethings that publish pictures of themselves having sex in a parking lot and then are shocked and outraged when their bosses s

    • But now anyone can have a FB page from your grandmother to a company, it lost that unique feeling of being part of a club that was closed to outsiders.

      I sanitized my account about 2 years ago with fake information except for my name and two photos. When they released the ability to backup your account I tried it and to my surprise all that was left was my sanitized information. Could old photos and posts be in their system? Yeah, but nothing that could really be used against me, although others that just posted whatever they wanted will not fair so well.

      I joined in spring 2004 with fake personal information. At the time I was absolutely shocked that other members were signing up with real names and then posting personal information and linking to photos. I interpreted that as an indication that Facebook was a site for the web's outsiders, the people naive enough that they thought connecting online and offline identities was a good idea. I saw it as a club for the ignorant and since I cared about privacy, I left. Now it's bigger than that, so heavily us

      • by Rob Kaper (5960)

        people naive enough that they thought connecting online and offline identities was a good idea.

        That, or maybe it was never a good idea to have them disconnected in the first place. We ordinarily don't assume different identities on other communication media either.

  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:04AM (#34916042)

    Another attempt by Facebook to undermine its users' privacy? I'm shocked!

    Facebook introduces some hugely draconian abuse of privacy, then 'backs off' - lather, rinse, repeat. And every time this happens, their users, and the public-at-large, get more and more immune to the controversy, and more and more immune to the abuse. That's why Facebook, and Google, and your-favourite-evil-giant-company, and your-country's-government, do this kind of thing.

    Sadly, as a society, we keep falling for it, over and over again.

  • FTFA - they recommend that each and every application has a privacy policy and determine how gather information might be used... But they fail to mention that virtually all privacy policies have a little "get out of jail free card", a clause that reserves the right for the company to change the privacy policy from time, and continued use of the application constitutes acceptance of the new policy.

    With an escape clause like that, privacy policies are pointless and useless. When company A with an application

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:20AM (#34916222)
    If there was a $5/month social network that had no ads and guaranteed privacy, I'd consider joining it.

    If there was an open-sourced not-for-profit social network that had no ads and worked to ensure privacy, I'd consider joining that, and donating to it.

    Otherwise, you're at the vendor's mercy. And like they say, there's a zucker born every minute.

    .
    • by Imagix (695350)
      Say... why don't you set up a $5/month social network that had no ads and guaranteed privacy?
      • by RevWaldo (1186281)
        Deal. I'll need $5MM angel investment to start in exchange for 25% equity. Where can I fax the contract?

        Although it does occur that if Facebook wanted to they could simply create "Facebook Pro" and offer an ad-free-guaranteed-privacy version of their own service. Users can choose whether or not they wish to mix with "Facebook Lite" users.

        .
        • by Imagix (695350)
          You're assuming that _I_ think that the $5/month social network would work. I'm merely saying that if _you_ feel that $5/month would work, set one up and start raking in the money.
    • by jovius (974690)
      I'm on Facebook and basically I'm just befriending people and managing a few projects there. My profile is empty of personal details and I don't use apps or play games there. I've also created marketing campaigns on Facebook and it's really convenient. It's a great tool. Besides Facebook there are a lot of newspapers, magazines and other subscription based services, competitions and whatnot that gather personal information and sell it to interested parties, so it's nothing new. Better be always careful.
  • by Boarder2 (185337) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:25AM (#34916286) Homepage

    Seems like this is how Facebook continues to do it. Expose the users without telling them that they're going to do it, wait for the backlash. If there's enough, backpedal on the decision. But only after giving the parties interested in the data plenty of time to mine a ton of it, making the reversal pretty much pointless.

    Well played, Facebook. Yet another example of why you don't post anything on the Internet that you don't want known publicly.

    • by Homburg (213427)

      Expose the users without telling them that they're going to do it

      How exactly is a big button marked "Do you want to share your home address and phone number with this application" not telling users what they're doing?

  • Come on, Facebook only knows as much as you fill in. Don't want to share your address and phone number? Leave the fields blank. No one is forcing you to fill this in. If it's not there no app in the world can get it. If someone is really my "friend" they probably know where I live and have my phone number and email. If they are just an acquaintance, they can ask for it and I may or may not give it out. Just stop compulsively filling out anything blank on your screen.
    • Bingo! I use FB, but my address & phone are blank. I see little reason for any of my FB "friends" to have that info (my RL friends already have it) and absolutely NO reason for M. Zuckerburg to have it.

  • Facebook/Wikileaks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JerryQ (923802) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:47AM (#34916526)
    "I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" Julian Assange
    • Point A: nobody cares about Time Magazine nor their 'Man of the Year' award (in 2006 the 'Man of the Year' was "You")
      Point B: nobody likes Mark Zuckerberg.

      and (veering off topic)

      Point C: I think Assange is in trouble because wikileaks leaked cables the United States declared secret, not because of any leaks about corporations. Now, if those secret cables had contained anything surprising, Assange might've been able to convince people he was a hero. But at best the cables are just background and further co

      • IMO Time's Man of the Year lost relevance when they refused to give it to Osama Bin Laden and went on a hyperbolic rant about how evil he was.

        As for Assange's leaks, there is a lot of good information in them. Most of the major outlets refuse to acknowledge that because some "nobody" got the scope, but I've noticed those documents have been referenced in follow-up stories quite a bit over the last month or so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Although it is a terrific quote, Julian Assange did not say that; rather, it was Bill Hader impersonating Julian Assange on Saturday Night Live.

  • not just this one issue, but this and all future attempts at exploiting user information. because facebook has the interesting quandry that it makes more money the more it exploits user information. but it drives criticism of facebook when it does this

    the interesting part comes when you ask exactly how much people care about this, or if it is only a vocal minority. i've noticed more media attention to the issue, but again, that doesn't necessarily translate into anger amongst the common user

    my personal feeling is that facebook will go the way of myspace, friendster, angelfire, geocities, etc... that social networking is just naturally cyclical. like the in club in the city for a couple of years goes belly up, to be replaced by some other in club somewhere else in the city, in endless repetition. however, i could be wrong, and facebook could have some sort of permanent lock on social networking. we'll see

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook is the prime example of how not to handle personal data.
    Or maybe the prime example of how to, depending on which end of the fence you're on.

  • ... with "To share your phone number with this app type it in here" and we'd still hear howls of outrage about invasion of privacy and how the process wasn't clear enough.

  • What i've gathered from this is that it took under 3 days to get all of the present info databased to another company/locus/system where it can then be redistributed and facebook can return to seeming like its safe now.

  • I'm the one [slashdot.org] who got the HTC Droid a few days ago, apparently right when FB 'flow of info' started. I was going to use my phone as a demonstration @ meeting on Thursday re: why FB isn't 'safe' and shouldn't be required for our committee members.

    So I got the mobile phones and addys of my FB contacts, and made the appropriate calls to warn people to take their private info off FB since "friends" apps' have access to anything you put on FB.

    I just checked my Droid fb app(s) to see if I was grandfathered (still

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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