Wednesday, September 05, 2007
In a month or so, it may get easier to stalk people on Facebook.
Facebook will be opening up their profiles to the public, letting search engines like Google and Yahoo index users' pages. They say that the "public search listings" will only contain minimal personal information like the name and profile picture of a Facebook member. Only members who are 18+ will be affected, but members can change their privacy settings to hide their profile.
But if you can't wait an extra month, you can get started right now since over 109,000 Facebook pages have already been indexed by Google. Just start on page 5 of the search results to see some profile pages.
To see the actual profile page, click on the Cached link. Otherwise, you'll be taken to a login page.
In case anyone took me seriously, I don't advocate Facebook or any kind of stalking, but I am concerned about the loss of privacy this latest move implies. Facebook was built on the idea of a closed network that protected users' privacy, but that has slowly changed over time. The right way of implementing the change is to ask users' permission first (opt-in instead of opt-out) before making their profiles publically accessible.