Archive for July 15, 2009

Facebook Quizzes: Are they mining your personal information?

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on July 15, 2009 by bearmancartoons

Hat tip to Bill and a commenter at the Comics I Don’t Understand website for the link to this PC World article entitled, The Hidden Secrets of Online Quizzes

If you or your friends on Facebook are prone to sending out those crappy little quizzes such as “What Disney Princess are You?” or “Which Character from Harry Potter are you?”, you should read the article first.   On the mildly annoying side, the companies that put these out might mine the data on your profile in order to direct market or email market you things they want to sell.  Or they can force you to click “No Thanks” on ad after ad before you can find out that your personality matches up such that you should marry Steven Baldwin, and not Alec.

From the article:

Remember, even if you don’t directly input data, it can be passed along. Such is the case with Facebook, where just opening an application automatically grants its developer access to your entire profile. And don’t assume that the developer isn’t going to use the information within.

“The very intimate and detailed nature of the information featured on Facebook profiles makes such a database very valuable to marketers,” says Guillaume Lovet, a senior manager with security company Fortinet.

So before you start talking about your dog (hmmm isn’t “what is your pet’s name?” one of the secure questions they use to reset passwords) or your mom’s maiden name, maybe think again.

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