The Truth Behind Facebook's 'You May Know' Feature
Facebook's "People You May Know" feature is VERY creepy. You've seen it a bunch of times and you've probably thought something like: "I just saw her the other day, this is a weird coincidence"... Well, it's really not.
If you try to find out what criteria is used for this on their FAQ section you'll find this: "We show you people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported and many other factors."... Really Facebook? you're going with "many other factors"? ballsy move.
So what seems to be the problem? that all those "coincidences" started turning heads and people started asking questions about the use of their information. I know for a fact that at least one of you has looked around for cameras, swiped the room for bugs, post-it your laptop camera or even said something crazy out loud after a "you may know moment".
Fusion.net released a report on this last Tuesday with quotes from a Facebook representative saying that location was definitely one of the variables in the "you may know" section.
This statement freaked out a lot of people, and we get why. This sort of Big Broter-ish monitoring is ridiculously intrusive, it's a huge violation of privacy. Oh, not to mention that this is also a huge security risk.
So the next day Facebook released a statement on slashdot.org saying: “We’re not using location data, such as device location and location information you add to your profile, to suggest people you may know. We may show you people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you are part of, contacts you’ve imported and other factors.”.....
I don't buy it. I guess that at the end of the day yes, you can turn off your location services and it's over, but it's still very, very creepy.