How does Facebook do it's spying?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by philo, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. philo

    philo Guest

    decided to see what Facebook is about

    I joined but had not given it any info yet other than just creating
    my account.

    No, I did not use my email password.

    The first thing it did was find my two best friends
    and ask if I wanted to ask them to "be my friend"

    That's all fine but how the hell did it pick out my two best friends

    and no one else?
    philo, Dec 12, 2009
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  2. Do you have a Google gmail account? Are the two friends in that account
    address book?

    I created a Facebook account last summer so I could look for high school
    classmates for the upcoming 50th reunion. During the signup process, a
    small scrolling textbox appeared with the heading "Do you want to invite
    your friends?" or similar. Within that textbox was a series of
    checkboxes for every single address in my gmail address book.

    Someone in a hurry could easily have missed that. It seemed obvious that
    Facebook and Google are in each others' pants. Giving away private
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Dec 12, 2009
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  3. philo

    greylines Guest

    I'm very suspicious of FB and Google where "privacy" is concerned so I
    never use the same email address for any of them.
    Having my own domain helps (TheirDomainRandomNumber AT mydomain DOT tld)
    but even without your own domain I'd recommend setting up different
    addresses @freebie email.tld for signing up to services with.
    When it comes down to the nitty gritty, they're advertisers first and
    service providers second.

    Here's a few questions, I'd be interested in knowing answers to.
    Please remember though, I can't help you in any way, but I figure the more
    info in the public domain regarding how these "service providers" work,
    the better for everybody.
    1. Were you seeing ALL your gmail contacts or just those who had already
    signed up to FB?
    2. Did you use the same password when signing up for FB as you were
    already using for Gmail?
    3. Were you already logged into Gmail at the time you signed up with FB?

    Peter signs up to Facebook and supplies email address "peter AT"
    as his contact address.
    Facebook scans system and discovers $User has previously signed up and has
    supplied their whole address book INCLUDING "peter AT"
    Facebook offers as friends, all FB accounts which contain email addresses
    of Peter AND/OR $User.
    greylines, Dec 12, 2009
  4. Neither did I. However, I did use the same name for the Facebook account
    as I use for the gmail email address.
    I did not use the same password for Facebook as I use for the gmail. I
    never gave Facebook my gmail password.
    Yes, obviously. That's the point I'm trying to make. Facebook directly
    read my gmail address book. Without asking.

    Oh, and most, if not all, of the addresses that Facebook displayed to
    "be my friends" were *not* gmail or yahoo addresses. In fact, most were addresses - entirely unrelated to either Facebook or gmail.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Dec 12, 2009
  5. philo

    philo Guest


    I realized that if the two people had my real name in their address book
    and had given their address book to Facebook then that could explain.

    Anyway...I always make the assumption that any email I write it not
    going to be private...and the truth is that if anyone stated snooping
    into my private life...they'd soon be fast asleep with boredom!
    philo, Dec 12, 2009
  6. philo

    philo Guest

    When I first signed up...
    I had not given it permission to look at my address book.
    It found two of my best friends but *no one* else

    Nope..I used a different password
    The people probably had my real name in their address book
    and had given their address book over to Facebook

    The real puzzler is why did it pick my two best friends?

    I have a lot of people in my address book who are undoubtedly
    on Facebook and it's likely Facbook has my name already on record
    through a lot of people.

    Was it by having an ISP in close proximity to mine I wonder?

    That much is a common factor
    philo, Dec 12, 2009
  7. That can't be the case, as I know most - if not all - of the people in
    my gmail address book do not have Facebook accounts.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Dec 12, 2009
  8. philo

    greylines Guest

    Geographic factors are used by a lot of sites these days for various
    I'd suspect that if your two best friends weren't geographically close
    then it would have suggested the next two people who were.
    greylines, Dec 12, 2009
  9. philo

    greylines Guest

    My issue is that just because you haven't done anything wrong, imoral,
    socially dubious or illegal, it doesn't follow that you don't have
    anything to hide. I prefer to decide for myself what I do and don't want
    to share with others especially if those others are companies looking to
    mine my data so they can provide "targeted advertising" or otherwise use
    my info for their purposes.
    I am well aware that there is no such thing as "anonymous" on the
    internet, but...
    greylines, Dec 12, 2009
  10. I've no idea how it found your two best friends but it makes a change
    from the normal invites that Facebook produces. We have just had a
    discussion in another newsgroup about how Facebook usually finds
    "friends" that are totally unknown. In my case the only friend it
    found that I know is my brother.

    Stephen Wolstenholme, Dec 12, 2009
  11. philo

    G. Morgan Guest

    Those 2 friends may have already sent you an invitation. When you signed up,
    FB recognized your email address (that your friends already sent to FB) and
    automatically popped up your pals.
    G. Morgan, Dec 12, 2009
  12. philo

    Mike Yetto Guest

    You may want read this article from the Electronic Frontier


    Mike "Good, Bad and Ugly" Yetto
    Mike Yetto, Dec 12, 2009
  13. philo

    Mike Yetto Guest

    You only had to give them your gmail address. They already know
    the password. After all, Facebook is Google.
    They already had it.

    Mike "do no evil? ha" Yetto
    Mike Yetto, Dec 12, 2009
  14. philo

    richard Guest

    You give them real information?
    I never use real info on accounts like that. No telling what they'll do
    with it.
    richard, Dec 12, 2009
  15. philo

    philo Guest

    I already have a parallel life

    but there are some folks who know me by my real name that I would not
    mind contacting.

    anyway at least gmail has a good spam filter
    Don't recall any spam actually getting through
    philo, Dec 12, 2009
  16. philo

    OldGringo38 Guest

    , In The Beginning God Created The Heavens And Earth, Then I Added My
    Two Cents To The G. Morgan Post:
    What is it and how do you make it work?? I'm working on it. <g>
    OldGringo38, Dec 12, 2009
  17. philo

    richard Guest

    My favorite identity is to use the address of 1313 mockingbird ln clines
    corners nm. Which is a tourist trap.
    Sometimes I use Dallas Texas because that one does exist and there is a law
    firm there.
    richard, Dec 12, 2009
  18. philo

    OldGringo38 Guest

    , In The Beginning God Created The Heavens And Earth, Then I Added My
    Two Cents To The philo Post:
    I think everyone had a Nesco at one time or another. I am not
    finding much fascination in the 21st century but sure do like the
    OldGringo38, Dec 12, 2009
  19. I've had no problems using real information. If it is being sold to
    advertisers then nobody wants to sell anything to me as I have not
    received any adverts.

    Stephen Wolstenholme, Dec 12, 2009
  20. philo

    G. Morgan Guest

    Have it scan your email for contacts, you'll get quite a few friends quickly
    that way!

    I left you a note on your page :)
    G. Morgan, Dec 12, 2009
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