Risk
10/29/2010
07:15 PM
50%
50%

Facebook Launches Friendship Pages, Raises Privacy Concerns

The new feature can show the relationship between two Facebook friends through the public information they've shared between each other through Wall posts, photos and more.

Facebook has raised privacy concerns again among some users by launching a feature that can show the relationship between two friends through the public information they've shared between each other.

Called "Friendship Pages," the feature, which is being rolled out gradually, would be accessible through a link under relevant Wall posts, relationship stories and the main photo on a person's profile page. Clicking the link would launch a standalone page that would include public Wall posts between the two people, photos in which both are tagged, events they have RSVP'd for together, mutual friends and mutual "likes."

Friendship Pages could only be retrieved by someone who is a friend with at least one of the two people and who has permission to view both their profiles. "When it's between two people who share a lot, the page really starts to reflect their friendship," Wayne Kao, the Facebook software engineer who developed the feature, said on the company's blog Thursday.

The new feature did draw concerns from some Facebook users. "While I'm all for innovation, privacy should come first," Rob Ahnemann, said on the comments section of Kao's blog. "If you introduce a new feature, notify the community when it arrives. (And) give a clear opt-in or opt-out button."

Others, however, felt the privacy concerns were overblown. "If you don't appreciate new applications because you perceive them a threat to the privacy of your golden gem of a Facebook profile, you are free to leave Facebook and no one will miss you," Amanda Meyer said.

Nearly every feature Facebook introduces is looked at through the privacy prism. Because Facebook's business is about helping people communicate, plan get-togethers and share photos and video of friends and family, the site cannot ignore the impact any new feature will have on privacy. Facebook's record on privacy is spotty and concerns over the handling of its 500 million users' personal information is under scrutiny by Congress.

To avoid having personal information seen by strangers or acquaintances, Facebook users need to carefully choose the people they allow into their social network, Augie Ray, analyst for Forrester Research, told InformationWeek. "Whom you follow and whom you friend are part of the privacy equation."

SEE ALSO:

Facebook Places A Bet Against Google

Facebook Places Privacy First

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9676
Published: 2015-02-27
The seg_write_packet function in libavformat/segment.c in ffmpeg 2.1.4 and earlier does not free the correct memory location, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service ("invalid memory handler") and possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted video that triggers a use after free.

CVE-2014-9682
Published: 2015-02-27
The dns-sync module before 0.1.1 for node.js allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the first argument to the resolve API function.

CVE-2015-0655
Published: 2015-02-27
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Unified Web Interaction Manager in Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to a POST request, aka Bug ID CSCus74184.

CVE-2015-0884
Published: 2015-02-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows before 9.10.32(T) and Service Station before 2.2.14 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse application with a name composed of an initial substring of a path that contains a space character.

CVE-2015-0885
Published: 2015-02-27
checkpw 1.02 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a -- (dash dash) in a username.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.