Another Facebook Hole?

(Update: Facebook have confirmed the flaw—although it’s not as serious as it looks—and have fixed it. See comments.) The complexity of Facebook makes it likely there are holes in its privacy. But this one, if I’m right, seems to suggest that it’s possible to access someone’s private data by a social engineering trick outside Facebook. …

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Think Hard Before You Get Linked In

I’ve been trying to remove a contact on LinkedIn who proudly claims to be one of the best linked people on the planet. Why that’s a good thing I’m not sure, but I noticed I was getting LinkedIn spam—spam to my own email address, but coming via LinkedIn–from this person, so I tried to remove …

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The Scam Potential of Presence Messages

David Weinberger as ever hits nail upon head with dose of humor, but his point to me opens the gates to all sorts of thoughts, some of them Web 2.0ish: Often, on the back of a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign is a ‘Make Up My Room Now’ message of some sort. But, now matter how …

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Facebook Connect – To What?

I’m trying to work out why this irritates me so much: Visit The Insider and you’ll be continually pestered by a popup (for some reason not caught by the pop-up blocker in Firefox) inviting me to install The Insider’s Facebook application. This is the much-touted Facebook Connect – a successor to the disastrous Beacon thing, …

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Why Social Network Sites May Fail

Look at a social networking site lie Yaari and you can see where the social networking phenomenon may fail, simply by abusing the trust of its users. Sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo etc rely on expanding quickly by offering a useful service: trawling your address book to find friends and contacts who use the same service. …

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The Predictable Human (and a Privacy Issue)

A study of mobile phone data shows that we are extraordinarily consistent about our movements. Mobile phone data, unsurprisingly, provides rich pickings for researchers since we carry one around with us all the time, and, unlike dollar bills, it’s more likely to stick with one person. But some have questioned the ethics of such a …

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Bluetooth Tracking

Research from Purdue University shows that Bluetooth would be a very good way to track travel time. Bluetooth devices give off unique IDs which could be used to measure speed and movement of pedestrians and vehicles. But why stop there? Wouldn’t it be possible to track people via their Bluetooth signal, if you knew one …

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Facebook’s Trapdoor

I’m puzzled. I can’t understand this quirk in Facebook that means I can’t politely brush off someone requesting my friendship without giving them access to all my friends and a lot of my info.  Receive a friend request and you get this message: I have a rule that I don’t make buddies with people I’ve …

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Filtering Communications So They Don’t Drive Us Mad

A dear friend was supposed to drop something off around 11 pm last night. I turn in around that time, so I just nodded off. Luckily I didn’t hear her SMS come in around 1 am. But I could have. I consider the phone the primary communications device–if someone has an emergency, that’s how they’re …

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Who Needs Enemies When You Have Facebook Friends?

It might be time to remove a) all your data and b) all third party apps from your Facebook profile. Here’s why. Add a Facebook app — SuperPoke, all that kind of stuff — and you’re required to agree to “allow this application to…know who I am and access my information.” Disagree and you can’t …

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