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Alarm bells rang in the heads of the privacy-conscious, disturbed that Facebook Graph Search might dredge up data about yourself that you once posted (and have forgotten about) or how the system could be used to cross-relate different pieces of information about you with potentially uncomfortable or unpleasant results.
A new blog called Actual Facebook Graph Searches highlights the potential problem very clearly.
Other investigators also used Graph Search to build tools like Stalk Scan, but the removal of Graph Search means they have had to suspend their services or offer them in a very limited capacity.
For example, Stalk Scan’s website now has a notice that says: “As of June 6th, you can scan only your own profile with this tool.
For instance, here are married people who like prostitutes: Charming. Perhaps more sinisterly, here are Chinese people who like the banned Falun Gong sect: And, if you’re wondering who to invite down the pub on a Friday night, here are single women who are interested in men, and even more interested in getting drunk: What a time saver Facebook Graph Search can be! These are just some of the examples shown on the Actual Facebook Graph Searches blog, but no doubt you can dream up your own.
Despite the obvious potential for privacy issues, Graph Search was also an important resource for organizations like Bellingcat, an investigative journalism website that used it to document Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen for its Yemen Project.Since then, the feature stayed relatively low-profile for many users (its last major announcement was in 2014 when a mobile version was rolled out), but became a valuable tool for many online investigators who used it to collect evidence of human rights abuses, war crimes and human trafficking.Last week, however, many of them discovered that Graph Search features had suddenly been turned off, reports Vice.People on your friends list can probably see your email address, even if you haven't disclosed it on your profile.You can find your friends' email addresses by pairing your Facebook account with a Yahoo email address, logging into Yahoo email and choosing to import contacts from your Facebook account.
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For example, when you search for a film, we use your search information and location to show the most relevant cinemas near you.