The Fusion website has reported that Facebook has created a feature called “people you may know” which might connect you with people you don’t want to be connected with through Facebook.
A spokesperson for Facebook explained that there were a variety of factors that algorithms could use to match users to other users that they may know — for instance, mutual friends, or members of shared work and education networks, although the spokesperson could not identify what specific factors would cause “friend” recommendations in a particular case.
However they do it, the bottom line is that Facebook is mining users’ data at a time where privacy has become an increasingly growing concern.
Fusion reported a story in which an anonymous psychiatrist they called “Lisa” was getting her patients as friend recommendations on Facebook. Even stranger, her patients were also being recommended to each other.
“It’s a massive privacy fail,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted.
Privacy invasion on Facebook was also the focus of an article by TechCrunch who published an article entitled “When Facebook knows more about you than you.” The article implies that Facebook may know things about your personality that you have never directly confirmed or admitted even to yourself.
Are we quickly approaching a time when web companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook can profile anyone easier than government agencies, effectively rendering privacy a relic of the past?