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Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,459
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17051910
Quote
Twitter has admitted copying entire address books from smartphones and storing the data on its servers, often without customers' knowledge
Social networks have said that data taken from smartphones - which includes names, phone numbers and email addresses - is used only to identify friends who used the same service, and notify the user.
But sometimes the data appears to be taken without first informing the user, or indicating how long the information will be saved for.
Twitter informs iPhone users that it will "scan your contacts for people you already know on Twitter".
However, the Los Angeles Times reported that the app in fact uploads every address book contact and stores it for 18 months - something not made clear by the app.

Nice !  Shocked
5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,920
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

Nothing different to what Facebook has been doing.
I've had loads of emails from Facebook telling me to sign up whilst listing loads of people I know. They've somehow got hold of peoples email addresses and started profiling me before I've even signed up working out who I know, who knows me, which of those contacts know each other etc.
I ignored it. It went away  Cheesy I've not had any emails telling me about my ex boss, brother, old friends etc for almost a year!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,459
Thanks: 274
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

The difference is that you almost expect to have all your Facebook contacts logged, cross-referenced, and visible for all to see.
Whereas mobile phone contacts are very likely to contain private information and is not for anyone else to know.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

Quote from: Sprite
I've had loads of emails from Facebook telling me to sign up whilst listing loads of people I know. They've somehow got hold of peoples email addresses and started profiling me before I've even signed up working out who I know, who knows me, which of those contacts know each other etc.

That's just based on friends of friends that are on Facebook already, so technically Facebook's data to use (seemingly for your benefit).
It also offers to invite your friends to join Facebook by emailing your contact lists (although of course will request your email username and password).  I see this as being rather different to what Twitter have apparently done.
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,920
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

Quote from: purleigh
The difference is that you almost expect to have all your Facebook contacts logged, cross-referenced, and visible for all to see.

Yeah.. if you're a member. If you're not (like me) it's actually very intrusive and rather disturbing to find out that they're been trying to go through your friends contacts, find out who you know, who knows you, where they work, how they know you etc.
If you found out someone was going through all your friends phone books to see who knew you and how you knew them etc would that be acceptable? It's the same thing.
Regardless of my consent, Facebook know who I am, they know my email address, they've been harassing me and they're in contact with people I know. Just because its an automated system which does it on a large scale makes it no different from a real person doing it (and lets remember, someone somewhere sat down and wrote that code after thinking out the logic - what does that say about them? - they had the same intent).
Yes the methods FB and twitter have used may be different but its the same thing behind the scenes - intelligence gathering and profiling.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'

there is a five page article in todays Computer Active magazine about this sort of thing, keeping you life private on the Web,  they got the full details of a person via Google street view, twitter, facebook, 192.com and Linkedin
It also told you how to break the info links.