Jan 242013

“Married Men Who Like Prostitutes” is juicy search term and the results can wreck marriages, careers and lives.

This is one of the Facebook Graph searches UK tech commentator Tom Scott posted on his Actual Searches on Facebook Tumblr site which lists, mercifully anonymised, the results.

What should worry anybody who uses Facebook is that this data has been in the system all along, advertisers for instance have been able to target their marketing based on exactly this information, Graph Search just makes it quicker and easier to access. This is why you should be careful of what you like and who you friend online.

Tom Scott has a terrific Ignite London presentation which looks at just how vulnerable an individual is by over sharing online. In I know what you did five minutes ago, Tom finds an individual, discovers his mother’s maiden name and phone number all within two minutes.

Facebook isn’t the only service we should be careful of, it just happens to be the one we overshare data with the most. When you start stitching together social media services with government and corporate databases then a pretty comprehensive picture can be made of a person’s likes and preferences.

The best we can hope for in such a society is that picture is accurate, fair and doesn’t cast us in too unfavourable a light.

In same cases though that data can be dangerous, if not fatal.

As potential employers, spouses and the media can easily access this information, it might be worthwhile unliking obnoxious, racist and downright stupid stuff. There’s a very good chance you’ll be asked about them.

  2 Responses to “Tracking the knowledge graph”

  1. Then, shouldn’t use Internet at all. the internet has just made it easier to track & therefore can’t avoid tracking. any industry can track anything & if personal, it’s chaotic. worth trillions of $ done by all industries. Behavioural Tracking is MORE than tracking behavioural patterns. it’s been there for more than 30 years now even before Google, Facebook & so on. 1 video to show that is Tracking the Trackers video under TED talks or YouTube where the Mozilla CEO shows how his daughter’s emails, browsing patterns, etc are tracked -http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_kovacs_tracking_the_trackers.html. so, never ever put anything personal on the internet as it can be tracked.

    there are vertical or horizontal search engines like WINK that combine 40+ personal search engines as well as social networks where anything can be tracked. nothing is full-proof private on internet as it can be tracked. also, there are integrated search apps these days that can do real-time search for apps, social networks. for example, kurrently is a public real-time integrated search app that can search content from GMail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN & so on. Cue/Greplin & Kitedesk are private real-time integrated search app that can search content from GMail, LinkedIN, SalesForce, FB, Twitter, LinkedIN & so on.

    • It’s a matter of understanding you will be tracked – the point of this post is that we all need to be careful who we friend and what we like. If we’re friends with the leader of a hate group and like various racist websites then the conclusion most people will make about us is pretty obvious.

      Looking at some of the muck people like or post online, particularly on Facebook, indicate many don’t understand the consequences of clicking like or accepting a friend request.

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