Friday, October 11, 2013

Facebook removes ability to keep Timelines, profiles out of search engines; a possible opening for cybercrime?

There are some new stories on Internet privacy and safety worthy of note.  The Guardian reports that Facebook has removed a privacy setting that prevents people from having their Timeline looked up by name.  It was first removed from people who hadn’t used the setting in the past year, and it is now removed for everyone.  The Daily Mail story is here.
There would be some individuals who for business or other personal reasons do not want anyone unauthorized to find their profiles.
But Facebook normally says that some basic information on a Profile page is available to everyone.  If you look at any typical non-friended person, it’s quite considerable, even though none of it is PII other than the real name (which is required by Facebook policy).  Employers can discern a lot from most public profiles. 
Could profile information alone contribute to identity theft?

Update: (later Friday):

Electronic Frontier Foundation writes that there is a workaround to protect yourself from unwanted searching of your Facebook profile, link here