…and it is now available for a free download!
Scary, isn’t it? 100 million Facebook users essentially means every fifth account.
A couple hours after the publishing of this database, BBC picked up the news writing:
Ron Bowes used a piece of code to scan Facebook profiles, collecting data not hidden by the user’s privacy settings.
The list, which has been shared as a downloadable file, contains the URL of every searchable Facebook user’s profile, their name and unique ID.
Mr Bowes said he published the data to highlight privacy issues, but Facebook said it was already public information.
Two of the comments under the torrent download page (shown in the above screenshot) belong to Ron Bowes himself who wrote:
This is awesome and a little terrifying.
I hope people see this and look over their privacy settings now, still so many out there not locking down their profiles.
Another commenter pointed out:
…as a developer I already have access to what could be deemed personal and private data through the Facebook API
Facebook itself commented to BBC:
People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want.
In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook.
No private data is available or has been compromised
What do you think? Was it the users’ responsibility to make sure they change their default settings to make their information more secure, or did Facebook have to make those default setting more secure a priori?