Are Facebook's new privacy options invading user's privacy?

Are Facebook's new privacy options invading user's privacy?
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Published January 24th, 2013 - 07:14 GMT via

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Graph Search, Facebook acknowledged the privacy issue
Graph Search, Facebook acknowledged the privacy issue
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Dubai Facebook’s new pet project dubbed Graph Search promises to revolutionise the world of search engines but at a cost: your privacy.

Facebook announced last week a new method in which people can find information within the white and blue picket fences of Facebook instead of the more popular search engine, Google.

The Graph Search in simple terms means being able to find a treasure of information about your friends and colleagues.

For example if you write “friends who like The Vampire Diaries, and hate Stefan Salvatore” into the search engine, Facebook will provide you with data tailored for your search, you’ll be able to find personal profiles and fan pages.

Or if a Facebook user is planning to travel and is looking for his friends’ recommendations, Graph Search will allow him to look at locations his friends checked into along with photos if they provided any.

In the event that Facebook is unable to provide you with its own data, Bing - having the mother corporation Microsoft partner with Facebook - will come to the rescue with answers available on the World Wide Web.

Basically Graph Search will allow users to look up everything about their friends, save their status, for now.

But not all Facebook users are happy about the new search engine and the number one concern on their mind is privacy, an issue Facebook is well aware of.

Sabreen Mangoud, a 52-year-old Egyptian housewife and an avid Facebook user, finds Graph Search to be invasive.

“This new search engine makes me weary. The very idea that it mines for every user’s personal information to build their new search engine, that they’re after information I provided, such as pages I liked, or even worse my own photos, is just wrong. Given this development, I suppose I should take my privacy setting more seriously,” said Mangoud.

Hesham Dirbas, a 31-year-old Project Manager, agrees with Mangoud, and adds: “The moment you signed on Facebook is the moment you’re allowing people to invade your privacy. It’s either you sign on Facebook or you don’t. Having said that I would enhance my privacy settings.”

On the other hand, Jimmy Grewal, 35-year-old Indian and Executive Director at Elcome, says the new search engine could be useful for him. “I like travelling and so instead of searching for places to go at random I would prefer the recommendations provided by my friends,” he said.

However he urged his fellow Facebook users to look at the new privacy settings and policies Facebook introduced and figure out what they’re willing to share and what they’d like to keep to themselves.

“I’m going to take a look at my page and decide what I consider private and lock it away, and what information I deem useful to other Facebook users and make it available; it’s getting more difficult than it used to be,” said Jimmy.

During the launch of Graph Search, Facebook acknowledged the privacy issue, “We’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook,” said a press release.

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