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Newest Creepy Way to Frame Your Boss on Facebook?

Jun 27, 20124 mins
Data and Information SecurityEnterprise ApplicationsFacebook

Who wants to get fired? Who's hungover? Who's taking drugs? Who's got a new phone number? We know what you're doing is collecting and exploiting public Facebook drama updates by posting them in one convenient site for the world to see. In a twist, at least one person has used it to potentially frame their boss.

Ever drink and drive a keyboard? How would you like to see your most embarrassing Facebook updates shared with the world? Your “secrets” are “safe” so long as your Facebook status is not public . . . well not really as nothing online is truly private and privacy invasion via big data is an entirely different subject, but a new site only exploits public Facebook drama updates.  

“Who’s taking drugs,” or posting their new phone number as a public Facebook status? There’s a brand new site out there that is collecting these tidbits and letting the world know. That’s not all either. Jamie is “soooooo hungover” and Natalie is having a birthday and “the thought of spending it hungover AND alone is pretty depressing.” Jimmy, Niru, Grant, Ruby and Kevin all hate their bosses. We know what you’re doing . . . (and we think you should stop) launched on Monday. It’s a social media experiment into human stupidity irresponsibility on the privacy front. It aggregates public Facebook statuses, finds Foursquare locations, and lists and maps your Facebook friend checkedins.

It’s unknown if these folks do not care about their privacy, do not know any better, or simply fail to see the big picture of social media monitoring on steroids, but anything you say online may come back to bite you someday. The purpose of the site is to raise public awareness about the risks of oversharing. Callum Haywood, an 18-year-old student and Web developer who lives in England, told CNN, “I was very shocked at exactly what people reveal in their public Facebook posts, which is one of the reasons I started the site. If there was no relevant data to prove the point, then the website probably wouldn’t exist.”

In a bit of a twist for a site exploiting people’s ignorance, @ethicalhack3r tweeted that “weknowwhatyouredoing site is vulnerable to XSS in the HTML comments.” That has since been corrected. Then there was another semi-evil and somewhat warped attempt to frame a boss via We Know What You’re Doing.

The Atlantic Wire reported, “After 27 hours up and running this stalker website with the appropriately creepy name We Know What You’re Doing …  has gotten over 100,000 unique visitors, according to a tweet from 18-year-old founder Callum Haywood, which says something disturbing about our society.”

The idea behind the site is in the same flavor as Please Rob Me and I Can Stalk U which raised awareness about the risks of disclosing too much information via location-based services and geo-tagged photos. Yet unintentionally oversharing has cost people jobs, kept folks from having their loans approved, and even cost some people their health insurance as Microsoft pointed out. Attorneys use Facebook and social media sites to vet jurors. Anything you say online, or tweet, can and may be used as e-discovery in court; even if Facebook updates are not public, they have come into play when trying to be hired and trying to get into college.

Haywood said, “Efforts have been made to remove any personal data from the results, such as the actual phone numbers, surnames, etc. The data is still easily accessible from the API, the filters have been put in place to protect the site from legal issues.” He advised that if you don’t want your humiliating Facebook statuses shared with the world, then make sure “Control Your Default Privacy is not set to ‘Public’. You can set it to ‘Friends’ but for the best privacy it is recommended you choose ‘Custom’ and go through each option to choose who can see what.”

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ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.