Facebook User’s Identity Information Stolen Again

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If you use the "Recommended" privacy settings on Facebook (also the default privacy settings) then you can expect to see your picture, name, address and more taken and used in ways that you would not approve of.  The latest "proof of concept" is a dating site that scraped the publicly accessible data on user profiles in Facebook and used it to populate it’s website with over 200,000 new users.

In other words, if your data is set to "public" then it is very likely that you are now a "member" of a dating website that you never heard of.

Facebook’s defense is that doing this is against its terms of service and that it will pursue legal action against anyone who steals Facebook profile information like this.

Of course, that is hardly the point because the real danger of Facebook privacy violations doesn’t come from pranksters putting up an "artistic" website as a way to publicly point out how much private information Facebook turns public, but rather from those who secretly steal personal information from Facebook.  Such users don’t care about the terms of service and the legal department will never find them, if it even knew about them in the first place.

Never set any of your status updates or contact information to Public on Facebook.  Set everything to Friends of Friends or tighter.  This won’t give you full security, but it will at least take you off of the easy target list.

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