Feeds

Site auto-trawls embarrassing Facebook posts

'Delete Facebook account' surges into Google top 10

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.