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Topic # 110671 14-Oct-2012 09:45 Send private message

So I eventually gave in to pressure and set my daughter up on Facebook last night - we all know that FB has significant amounts of information about us - either provided by us or our "friends" but what happened after I created the new account shocked me.

So I'd created the account and verified the email addresses, one my daughter's own the other the family one just in case.  My wife sent a friend request which I accepted on my daughters behalf - which then took me to the "other people you may know" - this is where it got freaky.

Not only did it have my wife's friends, but it also had my friends also - at the top of the list.  Remember at this stage, the only friend to my daughter was my wife - not me - but it still knew to put my friends at the top.

Then it got really freaky.

Amongst the list were people that my wife knew who were not friends of either my wife or me - or to the best of our knowledge anyone who were our friends.  In fact two of them were people that some time ago, my wife tried to find but was unsucessful!

Not freaky enough yet?  One of the people on the list was my daughter's piano teacher from 2 years ago, neither my wife or I have been searching for her let alone added as a friend.

So where did these people come from?  Looking at the piano teacher, the only electronic comunication we could find was an email December 2010 through our family email address.  This email is not in the regular PST file but in an acrchive PST, she is not a contact either.  Neither my wife nor I remember giving permission to FB to use our family email address to look for friends so how did FB know to recommend that person - even if we had we would not have expected it to mine the messages only the contacts.

Having moved to NZ from the UK it is hard for us to keep in contact with everyone we know, and so FB is a great enabler - but this kind of data mining is frightening.  I guess that old 7 degrees of separation just became 2 if you include FB as a friend!

Anyone else have this kind of thing happen to them?  Anyone know how FB could have made these links?




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  Reply # 700882 14-Oct-2012 10:18 Send private message

It happens when you have one billion people registered that overlaps and relationships between individuals can more easily be deducted.

Facebook didn't access your PST file, don't worry.






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  Reply # 700886 14-Oct-2012 10:40 Send private message

freitasm: It happens when you have one billion people registered that overlaps and relationships between individuals can more easily be deducted.

Facebook didn't access your PST file, don't worry.

It does have a lot of data - but I can't understand how it would suggest her piano teacher from 2 years ago who does not come up in a people search for either my wife or me.




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  Reply # 700898 14-Oct-2012 10:56 Send private message

The piano teacher may have allowed facebook to use gmail contacts to add people known to him/her. Either that or someone a degree away.

Maybe facebook needs some -don't triangulate me- settings ; )

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  Reply # 700906 14-Oct-2012 11:26 Send private message

I would imagine her old piano teacher is a mutual friend of one of your or (more likely) your wife's friends hence the suggestion. It is also possible that she is a friend of many of your wife's friends.

All Facebook uses are matching algorithms, really. There is no conspiracy :P



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  Reply # 701228 15-Oct-2012 08:29 Send private message

gzt: The piano teacher may have allowed facebook to use gmail contacts to add people known to him/her. Either that or someone a degree away.

Maybe facebook needs some -don't triangulate me- settings ; )


Good point never thought of her having us as a contact which is very likely and then loading that data to find friends.  As soon as the account was opened it matched the data!  So yes, it's very unlikely that they have snooped around my PST files.

Conspiracy theory?  The fact that it knows to join billions of people by the data you very freely gave - even without friending people - means they have a lot of very usable associationdata.

The question is whether the "law" enforcement agencies have a back door or not - but that's a question for the tin foil hat forum, I've got my answer.




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