Is It Worth Sacrificing Your Secrecy to Be Social?

July 9, 2014 9:07 PM

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A few weeks ago, my sister and I were in the midst of our bi-weekly run in Central Park when she turned to me and asked if I knew how to block Facebook's access to her personal information -- she'd been randomly getting prompted to befriend people whom she hardly knew and felt like her privacy was being invaded. I probed a bit deeper and found out that many of these "friend requests" were coming from men she had been on a date or two with and whose number she had stored in her phone. Without a whole ton of knowledge on the matter, I suggested that the friend requests were perhaps coming from Facebook scouring her phone records, finding these names and then sending the notification based on these little tidbits of data. How very big brother of them. I suggested changing her privacy settings to limit access to her personal data.

More and more these days, I'm hearing the same story. How do "they" know to send me pop up ads on the exact pair of $400 dollar shoes I desperately want, can't afford but want to forget? Or why does Facebook automatically pull up the profile of that guy I've been Facebook stalking even though we're ...

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