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Well let begin by saying that CNN apparently encourages government officials to appear on their news show to express their opinion about how owning, selling, buying and trading automobiles is in the same arena as owning, selling, buying and trading guns. IT IS NOT! Owning, selling, buying. trading and driving automobiles is a PRIVILEGE not a RIGHT! Owning, selling, buying, trading and bearing arms is a RIGHT! A RIGHT that the constitution clearly manifests! If anyone on that show was truly concerned about Americans’ rights then they would clearly delineate the fact that this is an APPLES and ORANGES comparison conversation and not something that could even remotely be valid speaking point.

Round 3 of the white banter provided by the CNN spokesmen and women. Wolf Blitzer has the audacity to call the President of the United States “ANGRY”, but yet John McCain and Lindsay Graham are simply “FORCEFUL”. You PRICKS! You are obviously racists news reporters bent on inflaming the attitudes and polarizing the republicans for unnecessary reactionary remarks and comments. Yet, when Jessica Yellin received the email about Lindsay Graham’s comments he was simply being forceful.  Get off the air!

What I think is such an utter shame is how the majority of CNN contributors and those on Fox as well, want to portray President Obama as an angry black man. After the debate, Tuesday night, the fat Mexican (Alex Castellanos) and the stark White flip flopper (David Gergen) intended on repeating the notion that President Obama “seemed” angry and bitter, yet you could see the searing hatred and obvious disrespectful sentiment in Mitt Romney’s eyes, body language and attempted cut-off attacks. Not only was Mitt Romney angry and disrespectful, he was cynical and very obtrusive, yet no one seemed to mention anything about that. He was simply rude as CNN put it. #HiddenRacists


Happy Mother's Day!


So I’m checking out the web…applications, services and what-not and it just dawned on me….WHAT THE HELL IS EVERYONE DOING??? Every site that I went to and attempted to use their free services asked me to log-in in with my Facebook account….now at first site it seems innocent enough, but then went the screen popped up that said that the site would be able to have access to my friends, all of my personal information and all of my friends personal information….. :  (    what is this world now coming to. I see why they give their services and software away for free. They have a plethora of information at their disposal and in this day and age, information is power.  So no longer is Facebook the                           lone wolf  or shark  in this media game, its everyone with a website that is willing to jump on the bandwagon and actively attempt to secretly trade free services for personal information. They are no longer waiting for the consumer to come to them. They want ALL of your personal information and they want it NOW! The normal procedures would have been for the consumer simply fill out a basic online form with minimum information so that they could receive the free services. Now, they want all of your friends, pictures, personal data that would NEVER be shared with a site like that. And to top it off….the consumer doesn’t have to be logged onto the site in order for the hosting site to access the users personal info and friends info. THEY CANE DO IT WHENEVER THEY WANT TO!!! I don’t know about you guys out there, but this IS scary! They know more about you than you actually remember you do. Soon there will be nowhere you can hide. THEY WILL FIND YOU!!! Good luck people…..I am praying for you.

LONDON - FEBRUARY 03: (FILE PHOTO)  In this ph...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Privacy has become the watchword in social networking. We all worry about an invasion of our privacy, usually thought of as a direct release of confidential information or an indirect insight garnered by concatenating a lot of little separate pieces of information about us (e.g., knowing when to rob our house by noting travel plans or location of tweets).

Facebook is no stranger to privacy complaints. Despite its checkered past and flashpoint status, Facebook has no choice but to continue to test the boundaries of privacy — its business model depends on people divulging things about themselves. Its privacy policies have been gradually shifting, in ways users realize and in ways users don’t quite see or understand.

As an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) post detailing the timeline of Facebook privacy policies concludes:

. . . the successive policies tell a clear story. Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew larger and became more important, it could have chosen to maintain or improve those controls. Instead, it’s slowly but surely helped itself — and its advertising and business partners — to more and more of its users’ information, while limiting the users’ options to control their own information.

Recently, Facebook announced the Open Graph Protocol, which makes it easier for outside sites to share information with Facebook when visitors want to recommend a page.

On the heels of this new initiative, Technology Review interviewed Danah Boyd of Microsoft Research New England. Boyd is a social media researcher and a vocal critic of Facebook’s approach to privacy.

Facebook argues that social norms are changing, and the old definitions of privacy are outdated. Critics point out that Facebook itself is a major force in changing these social norms in its efforts to erode privacy to drive its business. As Boyd says:

I think the social norms have not changed. I think they’re being battered by the way the market forces are operating at this point. I think the market is pushing people in a direction that has huge consequences, especially for those who are marginalized.

We all inhabit multiple roles in life — employee, researcher, parent, spouse, child, friend, neighbor — and what may be fine in one role (sharing a long night with friends over drinks) may look completely inappropriate when seen by people expecting you to fulfill another role (boss, parent, spouse). Erosion of privacy erodes the bulwarks we expect between these, and that can make us nervous or prove embarrassing or awkward.

We’ve all seen religious, political, or social views of old friends and co-workers revealed on Facebook despite the fact that these views have never mattered to our relationships with these people and, worse, may make it harder to look at those people the same way afterward. You can’t unlearn the fact that Person A was just revealed as a Scientologist, for example.

As Boyd notes, it’s especially bad for teachers:

[Teachers] have a role to play during the school day and there are times and places where they have lives that are not student-appropriate. Online, it becomes a different story. Facebook has now made it so that you can go and see everybody’s friends regardless of how private your profile is. And the teachers are constantly struggling with the fact that, no matter how obsessively they’ve tried to make their profiles as private as possible, one of their friends can post a photo from when they were 16 and drinking or doing something else stupid, and all of a sudden, kids bring it into school.

Some reactions to these perceptions of privacy erosion are stronger than others. Some critics urge others to dump Facebook specifically, and accuse Facebook of nearly evil behavior. Business Insider has a list of 10 Reasons to Delete Your Facebook Account. They include:

  • Facebook’s Terms of Service are completely one-sided
  • Facebook’s CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior
  • Facebook has flat-out declared war on privacy

The essential message from the full list is that Facebook is trying to redefine privacy to suit its purposes — commercial purposes based on a plan to become the dominant force online.

Expectations for privacy are very high among the critics of Facebook. As Thomas Baekdal stated in his first rule of privacy:

I am the only one who can decide what I want to share.

In light of this very simple and reasonable rule, it’s tempting (and perhaps too easy) to say that these social networks must reflect social expectations and norms as they exist, and not try to shift them to suit their engineering preferences, business models, or tin-eared anthems of social media utopianism.

However, a recent paper in arXiv calculates a mathematical threshold of privacy for social recommendation engines, one that is probably lower than current social norms would accept. The authors believe their calculations indicate a fundamental limit on privacy in social networks, and show that the more people and recommendations that are present, the more this threshold moves toward a lack of privacy. In other words, to get social recommendations, we have to give up some of our privacy — and the more people who share and seek social recommendations, the less privacy there is. As the authors state it:

This finding throws into serious question the feasibility of developing social recommendation algorithms that are both accurate and privacy-preserving for many real-world settings.

Facebook is a flashpoint among social networks — being the leader, it’s on the forefront of criticism. But if this recent paper is correct, the genre itself may demand a change in social expectations of privacy among users. It may not be Facebook’s fault or Mark Zuckerberg‘s business cynicism at work. It may be reality, and the critics may just be scapegoating Facebook.

Perhaps Facebook’s sense of shifting social norms is right, informed by years of watching a major social network blossom around them. The trade-off their observations might have identified could be: If people continue to use and rely upon social networks, they are implicitly accepting a lower threshold of privacy.

Facebook to allow 3rd party access to users’ Home Addresses and Phone Numbers

Posted by Bradley Wint on 28/02/2011

Facebook has issued a response to Congressmen Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) letter about their plans to combat privacy concerns when giving out private information to 3rd party apps, including data such as telephone numbers and home addresses.

In a 7 page letter, Marne Levine, Vice President of Global Public Policy at Facebook mentioned many times that users accessing 3rd party apps must first choose whether they want to give access to their information before using the app. If they are uncomfortable with data sharing, they can always reject the terms to avoid data being passed on to the 3rd party. Also, they are making efforts to bring more attention to the categories of data being accessed, so if users are concerned about their phone numbers or addresses being given out.

Even though a time frame wasn’t mentioned for the re-implementation of the additional data fields, it definitely will be coming soon.

Above you can see a sample of the current permissions gateway, highlighting what kind of data you are asked to relinquish to 3rd parties if you use the app. If you don’t want to give it up, then hitting the Don’t Allow button will take you away to the home page.

In the document, they also make mention of those under the age of 13, saying that persons in that category are barred from using the service all together and that all measures are being put in place to make sure they don’t bypass such requirement. With regards to those in the 13-18 bracket, they are considering limiting the passage of any information at all (or maybe limited information) to 3rd parties. If such a measure were to come in place, it could be a major blow for some applications geared towards teenagers.

With regards to users who are already part of applications for which they feel some level of discomfort, users are given total control of their data and if they wish to remove it, they simply have to get rid of the application.

It is unclear what other measures will be put in place for control of data, but I would have liked them to allow users full access to 3rd party apps with another permission gateway asking them whether they want share information or not.

One of the biggest problems with data sharing and this gateway is that many users don’t read the terms and conditions when using applications. They just quickly click through just to get to the program without really paying attention to how much access was granted to their personal information. Also, with so many rogue apps on the market, users could be sucked into joining an app through a false click or some other form of trickery.

There are a number of good app developers who develop legit applications, but users should also be aware that an equally amount of bad apps exist.

With regards to Facebook’s detailed response, Congressmen Markey was happy with their steps to protect its users but reiterated how important it was to protect its younger audience.

“Mobile phone numbers and personal addresses, particularly those that can identify teenagers using Facebook, require special protection,” said Rep. Markey. “We must ensure that this sensitive information is safeguarded, with clear, distinct permissions so that users know precisely what’s in store when they opt to share this data with third parties. Moreover, simple, easily accessible tools are needed so users can rescind these permissions if they subsequently find they no longer want their information in the hands of third parties.

“While permission slips give parents piece of mind, Internet permission ‘slip-ups’ can expose children and teens to dangers online. That’s why it’s critical that Facebook get this right.

“I’m pleased that Facebook’s response indicated that it’s looking to enhance its process for highlighting for users when they are being asked for permission to share their contact information. I look forward to monitoring the company’s work in this area. I’m also encouraged that Facebook is deciding whether to allow applications on the site to request contact information from minors. I don’t believe that applications on Facebook should get this information from teens, and I encourage Facebook to wall off access to teen’s contact information if they enable this new feature. Facebook has indicated that the feature is still a work in progress, and I will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that sensitive personal user data, especially those belonging to children and teenagers, are protected.”

“Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook, and it is important that the company works as hard at protecting their user’s privacy as they do providing a popular social interaction platform,” said Rep. Barton. “People enjoy the games and applications that Facebook offers, but taking advantage of them shouldn’t jeopardize a user’s privacy. Facebook has a responsibility to their customers not just the third party vendors it associates with. I hope they continue to improve protection of users’ private information.”

If you are unhappy with the move, there are really some simple steps to avoid data loss:

  • Remove all data from your profile which you wish not to share with any 3rd party or anyone else (e.g. phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
  • Do not join applications if you feel uneasy giving 3rd parties access to your personal data.
  • Read the terms and conditions in the permissions box before approving any applications, especially the type of data being accessed.
  • If applications seem suspicious in any way, do not join them and report them for review.

Facebook to release phone numbers, addresses to third-party developers

Posted on Mar 1st 2011 by Lydia Leavitt

Facebook is reportedly moving forward with plans to provide third-party developers and external websites with access to the home addresses and cellphone numbers of its members.

The social networking site originally announced the feature in its Developer Blog in January only to incur serious public outcry over security concerns. Within three days of the announcement, Facebook suspended the feature until the hype died down, only to reintroduce it today.

Facebook to release phone numbers, addresses to third-party developersIn response to January’s announcement, Representatives Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) sent Facebook execs a letter expressing their concern.

Facebook reaffirmed it would indeed be allowing third parties to request access to users’ address and phones numbers.

The motivation behind Facebook’s move is the enormous amount of cash marketers and third-party websites will pay the site for the pressure information. It’s all part of Facebook’s bigger plan to become a viable marketing channel for businesses.

Facebook added that it is considering implementing controls that would make it more clear to the masses that their personal information is being shared. The site is “actively considering” whether to restrict users under 18 from sharing their content with third-party developers.

“We expect that, once the feature is re-enabled, Facebook will again permit users to authorize applications to obtain their contact information,” Facebook’s Marne Levine, vice president of global public policy, wrote in the letter to Reps. Markey and Barton.

“[H]owever, we are currently evaluating methods to further enhance user control in this area.”

With such a wealth of information embedded into the social networking site, it becomes a much higher up target for scammers and thieves hoping to mine personal information. Though Facebook prohibits applications from selling users’ information or sharing it with others, phishing scams and malicious apps are not at all uncommon.

“[Scammers] might be able to impersonate you if they had your phone number,” said Norman Sadeh-Koniecpol, a professor at the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science.

“They’re saying, ‘Please give us your phone number,’ but they’re not telling you whether they’ll share it or whether they’ll sell it or use if for malicious purposes. In fact, you don’t know who you’re dealing with.”

Others, such as  Mary Hodder, chairman of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, expressed concern over the lack of transparency on the site.

“People never thought when they were posting this data [such as their phone numbers] that it would be accessible to anyone but friends. There’s a real mismatch of expectations around that.

“Even if Facebook comes back with new protections, they’re still saying, ‘Hey, get over it, your data is public.’ I feel sad for users that Facebook’s approach is ‘You give us anything and it’s all fair game.'”

Meanwhile, Rep. Markey offered a follow-up comment, stating: “I’m pleased that Facebook’s response indicated that it’s looking to enhance its process for highlighting for users when they are being asked for permission to share their contact information.”

This is clearly an attempt to polish a turd. Facebook had no intentions on securing its subscribers because if they did, they would not be releasing the personal home addresses and phone numbers of its users. WATCH OUT FOR THE SHARK IN THE WATER PEOPLE!!!

As I was studiously engaged in active research on my final project for Social Internet TECH621, I ran across some interesting information regarding Facebook’s new http standard. I totally understood that they were implementing new security protocols for the benefit of its media users, but really didn’t understand WHY, considering they are willing to divulge the personal home addresses and phone numbers of its dedicated subscribers. Then I saw a web page that (luckily studied and took notice) noted that third-party application developer’s application would no longer work while its users were browsing under https. Their applications did not work. Hmmm, so i wonder if it was an intentional secret that Facebook did not care to mention to its user via Facebook that they were choosing to implement this new standard. Is Facebook the Sneaky Shark?                                              

Apparently, they ARE the shark in the water and nothing can stop them from taking over social media and manipulating the rules as they see fit. Or is it not them who is the sneaky shark, but the government who is merely using Facebook as a tool to implement their “transparency” and exploit everyone’s personal life who engage in social media? What a way to look at it…. As I’ve said before, if you don’t want them to know…stay off the sites…that is the only way to be sure that your privacy is yours and your alone….

Security Concerns with Privacy in Social Media

Over the past few years it has been noticeably apparent  that Facebook aims to deregulate standard  privacy practices that users are accustomed to while using social media. Although Facebook’s stance is that if users are navigating their media platform, then they should be willing to fore-go the right to be anonymous browsers, IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I SHOULD TRADE YOU MY PRIVACY FOR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS. But, Facebook doesn’t stop there. They go as far as to, not only fore-go standard privacy practices, but invite 3rd party API developers to have the same exact access to user’s personal information as the host site itself.

In a 2008 research study by Adrienne Felt, it was discovered that Facebook’s 3rd party API’s generally require none of the users personal information, but have complete access to it. Out of 150 studied Facebook applications, only 14 required private information. Of those 14 application, 4 of them violated Facebook’s Terms of Service Agreements. THIS IS WILD! Facebook is allowing 3rd party API developers to violate legal agreements set forth by the host site itself. They pull user data and add it to an in-application profile, making it visible to other application users who would otherwise not have access to it. I don’t know about you guys out there, but since beginning the class, Social Internet, I am much more aware, now, of certain privacy regulations and what is legitimate and what is not. SO users, beware because your information is up for grabs to Facebook API developers and the parties they sell their software to. C-R-E-E-P-Y!



My fifth article review for TECH621 is titled Information Revelation and Privacy in Online Social Networks (The Facebook case). The purpose for this article is to examine patterns of information revelation in online social networks and their privacy implications. This paper also highlights potential attacks on various aspects of user privacy, and only a minimal percentage of users make changes the highly permeable privacy preferences enabling changes to new privacy settings by application default to go unnoticed.



This research article examines patterns of information revelation in online social networks and their privacy implications. This paper also evaluates the amount of information they disclose and study their usage of the site’s privacy settings. We highlight potential attacks on various aspects of their privacy, and we show that only a minimal percentage of users change the highly permeable privacy preferences. This research article examines and analyzes the online behavior of more than 4,000 Carnegie Mellon University students who have joined a popular social networking site catered to colleges.



The methods used in this research include sampling a demographic of more than 4000 Carnegie Mellon students involved in social networking on Facebook. The majority of users of the Facebook at CMU are undergraduate students (3345 or 73.7% of all profiles). This corresponds to 62.1% of the total undergraduate population at CMU. Graduate students, staff and faculty are represented to a much lesser extent (6.3%, 1.3%, and 1.5% of the CMU population, respectively). The majority of users are male (60.4% vs. 39.2%). The vast majority of users (95.6%) fall in the 18-24 age brackets. Overall the average age is 21.04 years.



Results of the demographic study show that CMU users of the Facebook provide an astonishing amount of information: 90.8% of profiles contain an image, 87.8% of users reveal their birth date, 39.9% list a phone number (including 28.8% of profiles that contain a cell phone number), and 50.8% list their current residence. The majority of users also disclose their dating preferences (male or female), current relationship status (single, married, or in a relationship), political views (from “very liberal” to “very conservative”), and various interests (including music, books, and movies). A large percentage of users (62.9%) that list a relationship status other than single even identify their partner by name and/or link to their Facebook profile. These results clearly show that users of various social networking (in this case Facebook) platforms are invariantly disclosing personal information regardless of their individual privacy settings and disposition of their personal information’s safety.



In conclusion, it can be stated that from this study of more than 4,000 CMU users of the Facebook we have quantified individuals’ willingness to provide large amounts of personal information in an online social network, and it was shown how unconcerned users appear to privacy risks: while personal data is generously provided, limiting privacy preferences are hardly used; only a small number of members change the default privacy preferences, which are set to maximize the visibility of users profiles. Although the basis of this study comes from analysis of Facebook profiles, there are a number of social networking sites where these same characteristics are prevalent. Users are either oblivious to user settings or just do not care to make the changes themselves. Either way, users are not utilizing social media platforms in a responsible manner that  will better protect themselves from internet security and privacy breaches.

As I sit back and think about the semester I’ve had in a class (Social Internet), I can’t help but to think how this class was tailored. It was almost like we taught ourselves. I have never experienced a lecture series where the professor actually left what you gathered out of the class ultimately up to your particular interests in and outside the realm of that class. I must say, well done Dr. V. Our engineering counterparts do not allow such things, which I think is sad because you could potentially see a flood of more diverse engineers here in the United States. Instead of having your prof send you down a direction you really don’t want to go, the door is open to great possiblities….Well done Dr. V, I must say…..A+

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


My fourth article review for TECH621 is titled Privacy Protection for Social Application Programming Interfaces(API’s). The purpose for this article is to examine privacy risks associated with social networking API’s by presenting a privacy-by-proxy design for a privacy preserving API that is motivated by an analysis of the data needs and uses of Facebook applications. This article uses empirical research of the popular social networking site Facebook and its third-party applications available to users.



This research article focuses on aspects of a the social networking site Facebook, in particular third-party applications and their integration into the Facebook platform itself. Social networking API’s integrate third-party content into the site and give third-party developers access to user data. These open interfaces enable popular site enhancements but pose serious privacy risks by exposing user data to third-party developers. These applications pose serious privacy concerns: an “installed” application receives the privileges of the profile owner and can query the API for the personal information of the user and members of the user’s network. The information available to developers includes hometowns, dating preferences, and music tastes. According to (Felt and Evans 2007), most information on most user profiles is sufficient to uniquely identify their owners, even with the name removed. This loss of privacy directly impacts users. It is also of concern to social networking site operators: if advertisers can independently identify “desirable” users, the importance of the social networking site intermediary diminishes. This research focuses on 150 popular Facebook applications available to users. In conducting this research it was found that all applications maintained the functionality with limited user interface and access to anonymized social graphs and place holders for user data.



The method used in this research involves user surveys of the most popular 150 Facebook applications from on 22 Oct 2007) to determine their information requirements and behaviors. Individuals in the survey had each application installed on their account with minimum information filled out. If an application requested more data, broke, or required the interaction of multiple users, we installed it on a fully filled-out second account to observe the difference.



The results of this empirical research found that third-party applications do not need the extensive personal information that is available to them. Although two-thirds of applications depend on public friend data, far fewer require access to private data. Public data refer to information used publicly for identification or searching. Below is a summary of the findings.


Information Used                               Applications

None                                                                     13 (8.7%)

Yours                                                   133 (88.7%)

PUBLIC Friends                                               99 (66.0%)

Strangers                                           51 (34.0%)

Any                                                      133 (88.7%)

Yours                                                   12 (8.0%)

PRIVATE Friends                                              10 (6.7%)

Strangers                                           7 (4.6%)

Any                                                      14 (9.3%)

It was discovered that only 14 of the 150 applications required personal information with 90% of the applications having access to personal information that is unnecessary for the application to function properly. This is staggering! Ninety-four percent of the applications have information and does nothing more than display it. A mock Facebook account was then set up under the name “Anne”, who was given 500 friends and 750 contact list members. Additionally, there were 249 strangers. The database maintained tables for user data, friend lists, and contact lists, all of which were filled with pieces of fake data. Anne’s profile contains a third-party gadget (which we model with an application running on the same server) that requests Anne’s friend and contact lists, and it has access to the remaining stranger IDs as if they were other application users. The third-party application iterates through friend, contact, and stranger lists, requesting their names, networks, and hometowns using fake markup tags. For each tag that is matched, the ID is compared to contact and friend lists for a permissions check. If permissions are satisfied, the data is retrieved from the database. The average time for a permissions failure is 2.3 milliseconds, and the average total time for a successful data lookup is 3.6 milliseconds.



In conclusion, it can be stated that as social networking sites grow in popularity and the affinity that users have for the ability to communicate with other users through these social portals, third part API’s will continue to grow. With their potential for profit because of user activity, other social networking sites have begun to integrate third-party API’s into their application environments. The host social platform cannot enforce their privacy policies on the third-party contractor which breed grounds for harvesting malicious code and privacy breaches.


My third article review for TECH621 is titled Characterizing Privacy in Online Social Networks. The purpose for this article is to examine popular online social networking sites from a viewpoint of characterizing potential privacy leakage.  This article was based on of previous empirical research as well as network observation of two popular social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace.



This research article focuses on aspects of a few social networking sites, but clearly separates two in particular, Facebook and MySpace. In understanding social networking sites and their behavioral patterns toward users, one must understand the users themselves. Users, often willingly, share personal identifying information about themselves, but do not have a clear idea of who accesses their private information or what portion of it really needs to be accessed. When an individual join a social networking site, they establish a profile which contains identifying information about that individual. This information is then stored and is used to identify the user once logged on. The empirical research referenced and conducted by Krishnamurthy examines popular social networking sites from a viewpoint of characterizing potential privacy leakage. This research identities what bits of information are currently being shared, how widely, and what users can do to prevent such sharing. This paper also examines the role of third-party sites that track users and compare with privacy leakage on other popular sites. Further research will be conducted that will identify the narrow set of private data that users need to share to accomplish specific set of tasks on social networking sites.



The method used in this research involves studying the user privacy settings of online social networking sites such as: Bebo, Digg, Friendster and Hi5. Two main social networking sites that are covered in the aforementioned research are Facebook and MySpace. User privacy controls for five main areas on social networking sites are studied which corresponds to privacy bits selected in these areas. The areas are as follows: Thumbnail, Greater Profile, List of Friends, User Generated Content and Comments. In this research, 5000 random numeric userids in an observed range of valid userids and in February 2008 retrieved their corresponding user profiles. Profile information for 3851 valid userids was obtained, of which 79% (3046) of users retained their default setting that their profile, friends, comments and user content were viewable. In studying Facebook, Krishnamurthy examined its settings using Facebooks’ 506 regional networks (circa April 2008) that represent geographical areas. This was done because Facebook restricts public profile viewing to users in the same network and there are fewer controls on who can join a regional network, although a user can only be a member of one regional network at a given time. In the U.S., the 272 regional networks correspond to cities but often they include users who may live nearby. Also used was the random network browsing feature that returns thumbnails for up to ten random users for every browsed retrieval. All retrievals were made on users over the age of 18. 200 successful retrievals for each regional network; up to ten users are returned each time.



The results of this empirical research characterized and measured various privacy aspects across eleven social networking sites. It was found that users willingly provide personal information without a clear idea of who has access to it or how it might be used. The range of privacy settings that social networking sites provided were found to be permissive since default settings allow access to strangers on all of the sites. It was found that between 55 and 90% of users in social networking site users still allow their profile information to be viewable and 80 to 97% of users allow their set of friends to be viewed. A strong negative correlation between regional network size in Facebook and the use of these privacy settings to limit access was found with a negative correlation coefficient of -0.88.  This measure of negative correlation coefficient was attributed to the network size in relation to the area of users who allowed their friends to be viewed.



In conclusion, it can be stated that most users allow their personal information to be viewable by non-friends and allow their friends to be viewable by strangers. Also incorporated in this study was a study of 5900 college users and 220 high school user networks. From this investigation it was discovered that as much as 80% of users allowed their profiles to be viewable by much smaller networks. It is inherently feasible that users of online social networking sites are simply not checking and updating their privacy settings allowing outside users to view their personal information.

Also in the lecture on Tuesday was understanding technical and non-technical papers and directly finding, understanding and extracting specific information from these papers. This is to be done in minimal time so that an individual can maximize their time focusing on the relevant points of the body of information being read. Some of the points of class is as follows:

The reasons you want to look for specific information first is because it helps to decide if the article is relevant to your interests and if you need to be read or to be discarded. You can make a quick assessment about the quality of the article, based on: year of publication, research sample type and population size. It also lets an individual get an overall picture and understanding of the article so that, upon a second reading, you will be able to read it  much faster and understand the information in the parameters in which it were meant to be understood. We were given speed reading exercises and applicable worksheets speed read and fill out the worksheets accordingly.