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Public Facebook Data

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Tagged As: Privacy, Society, and Technology

It wasn't too long ago that Facebook users were rallying around the Internet complaining about privacy concerns in the site's terms of service agreement which prompted an abrupt reversion to previous terms. However, with a user base exceeding half a billion people, when even a small percentage of folks don't lock down their pages, huge amounts of data remain available for scraping. 2.8GB of spider accessible information to be exact and it was made available for download via BitTorrent.

Who's looking? Big business, government, you name it. Using Peer Block, a cursory look into the IP ranges accessing the torrent of FaceBook data revealed a number of major banks, consulting firms and government agencies were amongst the downloaders. Reasons for their interest are varied - advertising, employee monitoring, business relationship modeling, public-relations management and everyone's favorite - terrorist network association building. What would you do with the data?

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