Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Your deactivated friends will come and haunt you


Forgotten Facebook friends who don't appear in your friends list could still be snooping on you from time to time, new research shows.

In their research paper, "Your Facebook Deactivated Friend or a Cloaked Spy?," University College London computer-science student Shah Mahmood and UCL's chair of information communication technology, Yvo Desmedt, highlighted what they called a "zero-day privacy loophole." It enables a person to deactivate his own account and then later, upon reactivating the account and shedding his privacy "cloak," to quickly view his friends' profiles before disappearing into the darkness again.

The loophole takes advantage of the lengthy and complicated process of getting rid of a Facebook account. The social network persuades many would-be exiles to take only the half-step of deactivating their accounts, in effect putting the accounts into hibernation instead of deleting them altogether.

READ THE REST AT MSNBC