Recently the social media giant Facebook has confirmed that it did not use location details of users to suggest “people you may know”. The case came to light when a man suspected that Facebook had tracked his location details to suggest him a person he may know.
A father who had attended a gathering for suicidal teens reported that in the next morning he was presented with one of the unknown parents at the memorial service as a “person you may know”. The two individuals had never exchanged any information before. The only connection the parents appeared to have was being in one place at the same time. The man immediately checked his privacy settings and found that Facebook could “always” have access to his location. It turned out that his suspicions were correct.
In response, a Facebook spokesperson said:
Facebook has been reported to use the most sophisticated algorithm with precise accuracy to suggest “people you may know”. Users have been surprised, shocked, delighted and disappointed for years due to Facebook friends suggestion. With having location detection feature turned on in your smartphone, Facebook may suggest people whose face you may know but whose name you did not know until the social network showed it to you.
According to Privacy experts and security researchers, the implications of Facebook friend suggestions are far-reaching. While suggestions can be useful in some situations, they pose severe threats to netizen’s data privacy. A user might become friends with a person from yoga class, or he may end up getting exposed to a criminal who is stalking him. The world’s largest social network needs to make changes in its complicated algorithm to protect users data privacy.