Facebook's new privacy violation: what do you think?

This Saturday, I've noticed that Facebook now displays a few new boxes on everyone's profile page (not just me). The box that worries me most is the one that shows all the places where you've traveled and where you've lived, including your current location.

To compound the problem, the box in question clearly advertises itself as a Bing.com map: Bing.com is a major Facebook shareholder (Bing.com is Microsoft's search engine). So it looks like Microsoft - who is usually very concerned about big data privacy issues - doesn't care when privacy violations take place on Facebook (maybe they benefit from it). Read this article about another similar violation that took place a while back.

And to make things even worse (at least in my case), the only location that is shown on this ugly map (among several of my locations) is an expensive resort in the Caribbean islands. Is the place in question (the name of the hotel - Blue Radisson - where I stayed being listed on my Facebook's Bing map ) a Microsoft / Bing advertiser? Is the map used for advertising purposes?

I suggest that everybody start populating their Facebook's Bing map with fake locations - for your own protection, since there is no way to remove the map in question from your Facebook profile page.

What do you think? Am I being paranoid? Are they going to abandon this bad idea soon, before being hit by another round of litigations?

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Comment by Brian Hafer on September 10, 2012 at 12:18pm

Hello.  I had seen that map but hadn't paid it much heed.  In response to this post, I looked into it further and determined that the map is being populated off the other items already being shared in your timeline, for example: hometown, current city, life events, and the locations assigned to photos.  It also appears that the contents of the map change for each of your friends based on the privacy of the underlying items such as the sharing settings of your photos and profile fields.  So actually the map is only showing the data already available to your contacts in a different visual format, and you can in fact control the privacy of your map by changing the sharing settings on the underlying items that populate it.  Hope that helps.

Comment by Page Schorer on September 9, 2012 at 2:35pm

I have never given them an location so my map is blank.  I assume they are mining your data and then showing any location they find.  I checked my daughters but they do not show where she lives and she "romanced" where she grew up.

It will probably come down when some stalker uses it to kill, maim or rape.

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