One example that always comes to mind for me, was the app which updates your location. Two friends of mine, a brother and a sister share an apartment together. They had just purchased a large flat screen TV and a high-end computer system. A few weeks later, they were at the mall together, shopping for more components for their ultimate entertainment system. The location app automatically updated their location on each of their Facebook accounts, showing that they were both at the local galleria mall. When they came home, they found all of their new hardware gone! More than likely, they were burglarized by someone on their very own Facebook friends list, who saw that there was no one home at the apartment.
Photographic information can be even more damaging, with high levels of technical as well as visual data that can be exploited in ways you never imagined.
Facebook accused of massive 'data grab' with new service that automatically uploads your phone pictures
- Photo Sync being aggressively promoted to Facebook's mobile app users
- It will upload every single picture taken to the social network's servers Facebook will benefit from huge windfall of data it can commercialise
- It could use that data to build detailed database of users' lives
Facebook has been accused of a massive 'data grab' after encouraging users to allow it to automatically synchronise photos from their mobile devices to the social networks servers.
The social network from Friday began asking users of its mobile apps to activate its new Photo Sync, which will automatically upload each picture to a private album. Whether or not users decide share the photos on their public newsfeed, Facebook itself will still have access.
That means it will be able to mine those files for their metadata, including the location where the photo was taken, as well as use its facial recognition technology to spot those pictured. As a result, over time, Facebook will be able to build up a comprehensive database of where users have been, and with whom, from information they automatically give to the company.
Emma Carr, deputy director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: 'This provides a stark warning about the loss of control experienced once you have installed an application to your mobile phone.
'Privacy is clearly at the very back of the Facebook's mind when creating an application that enables this kind of uploading of photographs to be easier when it, in fact, it should be made more difficult.'
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