[Air-L] Facebook data goes public
zimmerm at uwm.edu
Tue Feb 9 10:10:11 PST 2010
I tend to agree with Jacob. I haven't had the chance to fully process/ponder this case (teaching today), but it seems that using an exploit based on Facebook's recent change in architecture -- when not all users have fully understood the consequences of said change -- to harvest profile information is extremely problematic from a research ethics pov.
I'll blog about this later, and hope to start a conversation at http://www.internetresearchethics.org as well.
Michael Zimmer, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies
Associate, Center for Information Policy Research
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
e: zimmerm at uwm.edu
On Feb 9, 2010, at 9:58 AM, Jacob Kramer-Duffield wrote:
> I will respectfully disagree about the goodness of this news.
> " Warden says he's removed identifying profile URLs but kept names, locations, Fan page lists and partial Friends lists."
> Did he ask permission? I know these are "public" profiles - or were when indexed, anyways - but being an individual and having a public profile is a different thing than being aggregated as part of a massive data set.
> This is an issue of power. Zuckerberg can talk about the end of privacy because his privilege guarantees that there won't be negative consequences to his publicity (and this would be true even if he weren't CEO of Facebook). A clever coder can talk about the "sneaky" ways you can use your friends' e-mails and Mechanical Turk to mass-harvest profiles from Facebook.
> But that doesn't speak to the ethical responsibilities that we have as academic researchers. I don't think that the way that Facebook handles its' users data is responsible, and I don't think that figuring out ways to exploit that handling is responsible, either.
> On 2/9/10 9:14 AM, Stefania Muca wrote:
>> Hello, I just wanted to share the good news :)
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