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Facebook phonebook pages

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  a seeker of security 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #1514 Reply

    Erick Carlson

    Did anyone else notice that Facebook now has “phonebook” style contact pages up where you can see, at a glance, the phone numbers of all your friends? And when were they going to let the public in on this?

    I HATE the fact that Facebook always releases potentially privacy infringing updates with zero communication or asking permission from its users.

  • #1515 Reply

    a seeker of security

    Couldn't agree more with you asterix. I think sooner or later the SEC is going to sack it to them (or at least I hope so). If they don't, I wouldn't be surprised if this release makes FB lose yet another chunk of users.

    If I were Google Plus, I would spend all my time making it as privacy-friendly as possible, being that they don't seem to have any other significant advantage over Facebook at the time (let's put it this way: when you log into my Google+ account, you can hear crickets chirping).

    Then again, Google doesn't exactly have a history of being the master of privacy protection either, lol.

  • #1516 Reply

    a seeker of security

    Do you remember the rumor that went around that Facebook was actually taking their users phone numbers and uploading them to the site? If this actually happened, then basically anyone in world would be able to find not only your own phone number but other private phone numbers that you probably never intended to be found there. Of course, the company vehemently denied the rumors, but it brings up some interesting questions about the Facebook phone book pages.

    The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Facebook is so big. If it were a country, Facebook would be the third most populous in the world, after China and India (that is what at least 750 million active users will do for you!). The numbers could have actually gotten on the phone book pages in one of several ways. First, your friends could have posted the numbers from their phones on their phone book pages. The second way is that you had synchronized your Facebook account with your smart phone.

    This is not a new feature, and it has likely been removed with the addition of the timeline. Nevertheless, to many people it is just another example of Facebook acting and doing exactly as the please, no matter what their user base wishes. As you can imagine, Facebook has been flooded with a number of angry messages, although seem people do not seem to have a problem with this.

    Facebook tries to present themselves in a “Aw, shucks” type of innocent attitude whenever something like this happens. It seems like they are trying to say that things like this just kind of happen, rather than being the kid who has just got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. The problem to many people is that Facebook is the kid who has gotten their hand caught over and over again. To borrow another analogy, they have cried wolf too many times and now no one believes them anymore.

    It often feels like Facebook is just trying to pull a fast one on their users. Every time they make changes in any of their policies, they always set the new options as the default. In other words, they make the changes effective automatically. Then, if a user does not like the change, they have to take action to disable the change. In many cases, it can be very difficult to even figure out what has happened, much less how to actually change things back to the previous settings.

    There are also concerns about more direct privacy incursions. Having phone numbers exposed and going through a number of under publicized changes, it is quite possible that a number of profiles could be hacked or otherwise compromised. I think that once Facebook starts actually seeing some real lawsuits and having to experience actual consequences from their actions then things may start to change for the better.

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