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Invasion of Privacy

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AFletcher

New member
Hi,

I'd appreciate some advice if anyone is more technically savvy in this area.

In December 2017, I deleted my Facebook social media account fully and didn't interact with its social media services again until Feb 10, 2019 after having, in the meantime, moved from my home in England to the United States. I created a new Facebook account on Feb 10 with a new email address and altered name and no other identifiable information. I 'friended' a few people I had previously and that is it.

I am now automatically recommended to connect with others who I knew before (entirely outside of any social circles I have since reconnected - out of countries even) but it would be impossible for Facebook to know of the relationship unless they held identifiable information of my devices and even then somehow associated this with me through my new account which has no shared identifiable personal information with my old account.

I only accessed the service through safari web browser on my iphone and mac and have granted no special permissions to access personal information on my devices, such as contacts.

How is Facebook able to recognise my previous connection with these people? Are they able to access my iPhone contacts through safari browser without my knowledge? This is the only possible link I can imagine.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
 


PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
If you are concerned with personal privacy you should stop using Facebook. The black magic FB uses to make suggestions isn't that well known but you don't have the privacy protections you had in the EU.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
How is Facebook able to recognise my previous connection with these people? Are they able to access my iPhone contacts through safari browser without my knowledge? This is the only possible link I can imagine.
Yours really isn't a legal question. FB is able to use your phone number and associate it with others who HAVE given their contact information over. Additionally, I'm SURE that you didn't pore over all those terms and conditions that you clicked "I agree" for when you signed up for FB...they've got a lot of stuff buried in there.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Hi,

I'd appreciate some advice if anyone is more technically savvy in this area.

In December 2017, I deleted my Facebook social media account fully and didn't interact with its social media services again until Feb 10, 2019 after having, in the meantime, moved from my home in England to the United States. I created a new Facebook account on Feb 10 with a new email address and altered name and no other identifiable information. I 'friended' a few people I had previously and that is it.

I am now automatically recommended to connect with others who I knew before (entirely outside of any social circles I have since reconnected - out of countries even) but it would be impossible for Facebook to know of the relationship unless they held identifiable information of my devices and even then somehow associated this with me through my new account which has no shared identifiable personal information with my old account.

I only accessed the service through safari web browser on my iphone and mac and have granted no special permissions to access personal information on my devices, such as contacts.

How is Facebook able to recognise my previous connection with these people? Are they able to access my iPhone contacts through safari browser without my knowledge? This is the only possible link I can imagine.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
Here is a link to a New York Times article published last April that discusses the Congressional hearings held on Facebook privacy. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was questioned on Facebook's data-mining and tracking software that many users have complained invades their privacy.

"What You Don't Know About How Facebook Uses Your Data," by Natasha Singer:


If you want to keep your private information private, you cannot use the internet. There is no guaranteed privacy online.
 

xylene

Senior Member
Perhaps these people you ghosted have been searching for you.

You may have some digital right to be forgotten, but that doesn't regulate literal people.

Perhaps you ran searches on your old chums and gave yourself away.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Perhaps these people you ghosted have been searching for you.

You may have some digital right to be forgotten, but that doesn't regulate literal people.

Perhaps you ran searches on your old chums and gave yourself away.
The old chums more than likely provided Facebook with all of the information they needed to put together a fairly detailed profile of AFletcher. Online search histories also reveal a lot about a person.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
How is Facebook able to recognise my previous connection with these people? Are they able to access my iPhone contacts through safari browser without my knowledge? This is the only possible link I can imagine.
FB uses not only your information but also the information of your "friends", including their friends, to determine what recommendations to make for additional friend requests. Your reconnection to those certain friends may have been enough by itself for FB to guess that your old account was a friend of theirs and thus might be a friend to you too, even if FB didn't guess that you were both the same person. FB casts quite a large net in guessing friends trying to get you to connect with as many people as possible. The more friends you have, the more time you spend on FB and the more opportunity FB has to serve up ads to you. FB and Google are the two biggest online advertisers and the two biggest gathers of your personal information. The potential for privacy abuse with those two firms, and particularly with FB given it's already troubled history with privacy issues, is such that I don't use the services of either firm (other than Google search).
 

quincy

Senior Member
Staying off Facebook is a good first step to take in protecting your privacy.

Unfortunately, those on Facebook who know you can often disclose way more about you than you are comfortable having disclosed, even when you guard against revealing this information yourself.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
Unfortunately, those on Facebook who know you can often disclose way more about you than you are comfortable having disclosed, even when you guard against revealing this information yourself.
That's problem in a lot of different areas. For example, if you send a genetic sample for DNA testing at one of those online sites to learn about your ancestry you are giving up a lot of personal information, and the degree to which that is protected varies a lot from one company to the next. Law enforcement increasingly is turning to these firms to get DNA data to match with samples they have for crimes, among other uses that users may not be aware of. But even if you know of those problems and don't submit any samples yourself, if your relatives do they are effectively giving away information about you, too. Police have tracked criminal suspects by finding near DNA matches of relatives in those databases and then doing follow up work to locate the suspect. The Golden State killer was one of those. And while it's good to find a serial killer, the privacy implications are enormous and ought to be a concern for everyone. And it's not like you can fully protect yourself by not giving up that information yourself. Just one relative can expose you to problems. In an interconnected world, you unfortunately don't totally control the information about you.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Right. There is little you can do to protect your private information or your personal privacy.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
Right. There is little you can do to protect your private information or your personal privacy.
Well, there are certainly some things you can — and should — do to protect your private information. No sense making it easy for hackers, phishers, and other crooks to steal from you. ;) But it is important to understand that you can't control all uses or disclosures of your private information, too. Especially that information that is already in the hands of others.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Well, there are certainly some things you can — and should — do to protect your private information. No sense making it easy for hackers, phishers, and other crooks to steal from you. ;) But it is important to understand that you can't control all uses or disclosures of your private information, too. Especially that information that is already in the hands of others.
That goes without saying.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
That goes without saying.
Well, I said it anyway. :LOL: You'd think it should be obvious to everyone that they should be careful with their private information, but it seems like every day I see instances where people were clueless and gave away sensitive personal information to crooks or made it easy for the crooks to steal the data. So to some folks I guess it really does have to be said...sometimes repeatedly.
 

Shadowbunny

Queen of the Not-Rights
Well, I said it anyway. :LOL: You'd think it should be obvious to everyone that they should be careful with their private information, but it seems like every day I see instances where people were clueless and gave away sensitive personal information to crooks or made it easy for the crooks to steal the data. So to some folks I guess it really does have to be said...sometimes repeatedly.
Case in point: I've had friends post pics of their newly-acquired driver's license on FB -- nothing redacted out. Other friends have all their relatives "claimed" so I can easily figure out Mom's maiden name, where they went to elementary school, and even the make of their first car. And don't forget those folks who post all about their vacation plans whilst sitting at the airport.
 
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