Personal Profiles via Facebook’s Like Button

Should even more caution be exercised when using the Like button on Facebook? By studying about 58,000 Facebook users in the U.S. British researchers found out that based on the “Like” data the characteristics of Facebook users can be determined quite accurately. Does this research now show that we are not that far away from being transparent humans? At least on the Internet?

Especially with the help of Facebook’s „Like“ button we (voluntarily) reveal quite a lot about our preferences and personality. With a mathematical model serving as basis for this study the “Likes” of images, status notices, or other websites were used to create a quite accurate personal profile. The Facebook data permit conclusions to the personality of the user with a precision of up to 95%.


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Full privacy only exists offline

Is there anything like privacy on the Internet or does it only exist offline? The Big Players on the net have already made their points regarding this topic. Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, made the now famous statement that anonymity on the Internet has to disappear. And Facebook has just recently won an important victory in this fight against anonymity on the net.

Even Google manager Eric Schmidt has clearly positioned himself about privacy on the Internet:

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”


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Facebook and Common Sense

Whoever is active on the internet should always exactly consider what is posted. Anyone, who publicly posts statements on the internet that are intended for the general public, cannot assert a right to be forgotten. That’s nothing new. However, a current post regarding alleged changes of Facebook’s Terms is doing the rounds. Users are supposed to put a statement on their timeline which allows them to disagree with the changes of the Terms. Here is an example:

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