Thursday, January 17, 2013

Facebook Search as a Potential Criminal Violation of Privacy Rights

I received an inquiry as to whether information on a deactivated or deleted Facebook account would still be searchable on the announced Facebook Graph Search. Here is what I replied at my Facebook account:

Facebook writes at its website Help:
"Hidden from Timeline:"Hidden stories will not appear on your timeline at all. Stories you hide from your timeline will still appear in your activity log and are also visible elsewhere on Facebook to the audience they're shared with, such as in news feed and search."
In my opinion that is completely illegal regardless of the fact that Facebook posts this information as is.

They can not simply claim all information ever posted as "THEIRS" for purposes of search. No way.

As for deactivated or deleted accounts -- all of these social networking sites keep YOUR information completely intact on their databases, as far as I know. See at

Whether that info will show up on Facebook search I can not know -- since the so-called" Facebook Graph Search" is in beta, so it is hard to tell what the final version will be, but you can be sure they will try to search everything that they can, and I am sure they will find multiple privacy lawsuits against them. It is inevitable.

The whole idea of this graph search is in fact to put you into contact with people you may not want to be in contact with -- that is certainly my case.


If you make content available to friends and they make that contact available to friends of friends, and they do the same, your material becomes "public" in the blink of an eye and there is nothing you can do about it.

Indeed, that is why Facebook is launching "graph search".

The article cited above reads:
"Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott said Facebook’s initiative aims to get people more engaged on the social network.
“Facebook’s worst nightmare is a static social graph; if users aren’t adding very many new friends or connections… their personal network becomes less and less active over time,” Elliott said.
“But that may be happening: We haven’t seen significant growth in the average number of friends per user recently. Graph search seems designed to encourage users to add more friends more quickly. If it means users’ personal networks change more frequently, and become more active, then that keeps them coming back to the site — which is vital to Facebook’s success.”
So, the whole idea is to force you into contact with strangers who, if you have posted about a vacation somewhere, have also been there, etc., because you will be able, to query, as the previously cited article writes:
"The social network offered examples of graph search queries including “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” or “people who like tennis and live nearby.”" 
This is a privacy nightmare!

How about a query about who goes on vacation in June for criminals ready to break, enter and burglarize your house, etc., and many far worse scenarios can be imagined.

In my opinion, totally illegal.

What Facebook is anticipating doing is essentially STEALING your information. It would in my opinion be a criminal offense and so the guilty should then be treated.

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