Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Facebook Security Low Point, or Joke?

OK, I understand that random groups on Facebook are a fun fact of life. In a lot of ways, they're really quite fun to surf around.

But, explain this one: I got in the hot tub w/ my phone in my pocket...now I need ur number :(.

The premise: this poor fellow got into a hot tub and lost all the phone numbers in his phone (man, that must bite!). So now, he's asked people to post their phone numbers so he can follow up with them.

And here's the thing - people do!

Huh? Is this a joke? Or, are these people so confused about Facebook security that they don't realize this information is public? Or do these people really want me to know what their phone numbers are?

And here's the thing - after a few minutes of looking, I found two groups with the same purpose, and yes, still more phone numbers.

If I were Facebook, I'd take this as a hint that their doing something wrong. Folks are expecting a level of privacy that you're not providing by default.

Or, maybe, I'm just missing the joke...


  1. If I could only get my family to actually read the email I sent them about setting their Facebook permissions up correctly. The default level of security for your pictures is something most people would never want. I agree about Facebook doing something wrong in that department.

    When we write software for private enterprises it's one thing to say, "Well, we can't protect from a stupid user..." but on the web for a public site is something rather different.

    Or perhaps I have it wrong about the private enterprises as well....

  2. I totally agree Ben.

    And it's not like Facebook isn't trying. I mean, they do mark groups as public.

    But, still, I wonder if they put a message that said something like:

    "Careful - you are about to post to a group that's public. Anyone - your boss, ex-girlfiend, mom, some random person on the net will be able to read this message. Proceed with caution."

    But then I'd probably blog about how verbose this message was and how Facebook was falling down on the job.