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Facebook Snoops In Addressbook


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PGB1

 
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Hi All!
This is a goofy question- But is there a way to put my address book (OSX 10.4.11) on Lock-Down?

Someone sent me an E-Mail telling me he joined Facebook. At the bottom of the E-Mail was a banner stating I should check out these other people I know on Facebook. There were a bunch of names & photos. So, big deal?

It occurred to me the guy sending me the E-Mail knows, nor has heard of, any of the people shown at the bottom of his E-Mail, but every one of them was in my address book. (I verified this with him) I think Facebook dove in and looked around! Nice of them to ask me first.

My Macbook has 2 profiles. I opened the E-Mail on the other profile (both Mail programs have this address set up). The other profile doesn't have any of these people in the address book, but they showed up anyway. Interestingly, I went to the ISP's site and checked my mail there. The people, plus someone I don't know or have in my address book were shown, like in my own mail.
Weird, Huh?

No big deal, but it just bugs me! Is there a way to keep Facebook and, I suppose anyone else, from looking around? Maybe Facebook needs some publicity about this snooping!

Thanks!
Paul
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schweb

 
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Facebook does not access, nor can it access, your Address Book on your Mac unless you export it as a VCard and upload the file yourself.

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PGB1

 
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Now I'm curious-
How did those people get onto the E-Mail?

I have never been to Facebook. I with absolute certainty that the person who sent me the E-Mail has never heard of the people attached to his E-Mail (I asked).

If I forward the E-Mail to another computer (without the people on mine) and open it, the people are replaced with people from that person's address book.

Got any ideas?
Thanks,
Paul
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schweb

 
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You can always ask Facebook how, but trust me, they know a lot about a lot of people. You leave a trail every time you do anything online.

But I can guarantee you it cannot access your Address Book without you knowing about it. It's impossible.

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DarkestRitual

 
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As schweb said, they analyze the relationship patterns between a bunch of people. Facebook knows you. It's evil and scary, but it knows you.
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PGB1

 
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Thanks for the replies.
It was weird that when I opened the E-Mail on a totally different computer, the list changed to people that were, by coincidence, in that computer's address book. Another funny thing is, I haven't contacted three of the people they suggested in over a year.

I wish I could figure this out. Since there is no way they got into the address book, and I assume not my hard drive or old E-Mails- How the heck did they match me with those people? They must have some crazy good analytical software to put 2 and 2 together so fast.

I know I sound (and maybe am in this case) paranoid, but it isn't right when a private company can figure out who I know and who I don't. I sure won't be contacting Facebook to inquire. I don't want to go anywhere near these people.

Now, I'm off to cut the RFID tags out of my new jacket & sweater & unhook the black box in my car. (Just kidding!)
Paul
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you'd be surprised what other companies have just as much or even more info about you... Like google! If you have an android handset, use google search and/or have a gmail account, google has tons more info on you than facebook could ever have!
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Open Mail and select View > Message > Raw Source.

That will show you the code they have embedded in the HTML email that pulls in those contacts. But as others have mentioned, they are aggregating other information on the web that allows them to guess connections between users.

A lot of users also allow Facebook to scan their gmail / hotmail contacts when they first sign up, so it might just be that those people all happened to have you and your friend in their address books, which would indicate you're a mutual friend to them both.

But there is no way facebook can access your local address book. Imagine if that was possible – every spammer on the planet would be trying to get at it!
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PGB1

 
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Good Morning Everyone!
I apologize for the late Thank You. (I've been running crazy lately. Came up for air today & to catch up on fun stuff like reading this forum.)

Thank you all for the replies and information.

I had no idea how much every entity gathers data! (Like RFID tags in clothing.)

This is an example of sneaky spy stuff:
Even my cable TV provider spies. They sent a technician to my house (un solicited) to do 'system maintenance'. He did what he had to do and left. All of a sudden, my DSL internet (different provider) did not work.

I checked the system and found a mystery box attached to my phone line & cable line. (The internet stopped working because the genius connected it to my punch down block on the DSL side & blew up my whole house filter.) I removed the box, got a new DSL filter. I took the box to a friend who works for that CATV company as a higher level engineer. He told me it is a "tattle tale" for people with analog cable (no converters). It tells the CATV company, via a phone call, what I'm watching. They gather the data and use it as sales information for their advertisers & network negotiations. I never asked for this device and was not told about it. Pretty sneaky, Huh? (Sadly, the box met with an untimely demise when a hammer fell on it six or eight times.) Needless to say, that cable provider has been "kicked to the curb". The new one told me, upfront, that they gather data. No problem, don't sneak- just tell me. Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!

I own a business and lately I've been getting advertisements for programs and systems so I, too, can gather all kinds of data on my clients. Yikes! Instead of that, why don't I just ask them what I can do to better fill their needs? You know, like the old days? (And that technology is free!)

I want the ease and convenience of technology. I don't want the intrusion of data gathering. Can't have both! But, at least this stuff keeps life interesting!

Thanks again for all the insight in your replies!
Paul
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