Feeds

Site auto-trawls embarrassing Facebook posts

'Delete Facebook account' surges into Google top 10

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A new site illustrates the privacy perils of users who leave their public updates searchable outside of Facebook.

Youropenbook (formerly Facebooksearch) allows interested parties to search for status updates containing potentially embarrassing information such as "playing hooky", "stupid boss" or "control urges" simply by clicking on a link. The site also offers customised searches of freely viewable status updates. Search results return the name and profile picture of those making potentially embarrassing comments.

The site neatly illustrates the privacy perils of making status updates and wall posts viewable in much the same way PleaseRobMe previously illustrated how location updates through services such as FourSquare might potentially help out burglars.

Youropenbook automates a type of security shortcoming first noticed by a commentard on Slashdot. The Facebook Graph site allows users to search for posts containing the word sex, or any other search term the curious might choose to select.

A spokeswoman for Facebook explained: "This is the search feature of the Graph API, documented here (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/api#search.)"

The same search is possible directly on Facebook.

"Only posts (status updates, notes) which are Everyone and Page names are available unless you authenticate with an app (e.g. the TweetDeck app is a desktop client you can use to search over your own status updates)," she added.

Facebook has become synonymous over recent months with attempts to erode privacy settings so that users' information is shared by default. As illustrated here there are 150+ privacy options on Facebook making the process of locking down a profile the 21st century equivalent of programming a VCR.

With all the privacy furore around Facebook, including EU complaints over a recent privacy rollback and more recent moves to share user information automatically with "pre-approved" websites, it's little wonder that some users have decided the simplest option is to quit the site. "Delete Facebook account" is now the ninth hottest search term on Google, Sophos reports. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.