January 21, 2013 2 Comments-
It seems like every month there is another Facebook foray into our private data. Obviously, as a social network, it does it’s best to connect us to our friends and make money, but sometimes the way it does this can leave us feeling violated.
The latest privacy invasion from the company comes in the form of the Graph Search. It essentially allows us to search our friends by information about them, rather than just by name.
For example, imagine you’re having a movie party and you want to screen all three Lord of the Rings films. The Graph Search now allows you to search your friends’ favourite movies, to see which of your friends has liked the Lord of the Rings, and invite them.
But what if they live far away, or even in another country? Well, you can add a location search term too. There are a whole bunch of criteria you can now search by.
Just like how Google lets you search the internet for various different keywords, Facebook now lets you search your friends in a similar way to help you connect. The downside is that if your privacy settings aren’t perfect, you might find that other people are able to find you when you don’t want them to.
Think back to our party (I’m excited, are you? Please dress as a dwarf.) What if I had met someone at a Lord of the Rings convention, but had forgotten their name? I can now search my local area for people who like the Lord of the Rings and invite them to our party.
Which is great, unless you’re one of the people brought up on that list and you don’t want people to know that you like elves and orcs. Previously, people would have to randomly find your account and then examine your “likes” to discover that information. Not anymore.
There’s no way to opt-out of the new Graph Search, either. To avoid being overly-searched, you have to change what you share using Facebook’s existing sharing settings.
Click the globe icon next to any piece of your information (next to your likes, favourite music, films, books etc.) and you can choose whether you want your information public, shown only to friends, just for yourself or custom grouping.
You can also do this with individual items, so you can quite easily hide your love of Justin Bieber, while still displaying your impeccable taste in Indie music. Perfect.
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