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Creepy website claims 'we know what you're doing'

Categories: Community, Science & Technology

A website that started as an "experiment" by a British teen is exploding in popularity and exposing how much personal information people are putting on the public internet.

 Are you aware of what information you post publicly on Facebook? (iStock)WeKnowWhatYoureDoing.com searches for public Facebook posts for four different things: people who hate their bosses, people who are hungover, people who are smoking marijuana, and people who post their new cell phone number.

The result is a site full of Facebook status updates like "Im getting so mad right now I hate my boss Jay I hope he dies" and "oh dear. today is all kinds of hungover."

Callum Haywood, the 18-year-old from Nottingham, U.K., built the site on Sunday as a way to make people think about - and check - their Facebook settings.


Haywood points out that anyone can create a site like this using Facebook's public application interface. In fact, you can search public Facebook posts for whatever you like using a site like OpenStatusSearch.com.

Haywood says he was inspired in part by a presentation that Tom Scott did at the Ignite London conference in 2011 called "I Know What You Did Five Minutes Ago."



The data presented on screen was grabbed from the internet live during that talk (with the exception of the Wikipedia section). The Facebook information was taken from a user selected by computer who had his profile set to public.

In the talk, Scott mentioned PleaseRobMe.com, which exposed similar privacy problems with location-based service Foursquare back in 2010.

More recently, an iPhone app called Girls Around Me used check-in data from Foursquare to find public Facebook photos of women close to the user's location.

Are you aware of your Facebook privacy settings? Do you think sites like these are useful to expose vulnerabilities or creepy because they expose so much personal information? Let us know what you think.



(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: internet, Technology

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