Where does data come from?
All data displayed is publicly available through Facebook. We were interested in working with the Facebook API and created this site for fun and as a learning experience.
Why does privacy matter?
Facebook has created an API that allows anyone to search and display any public data that is available through Facebook. Depending on your privacy settings, that could include you. Ultimately, you control what is available in the public sphere.
Current privacy setting
Facebook currently has four main settings on their privacy settings page:
- Everyone has access to all of your Facebook content.
- Friends of Friends
- FoF have access to your posts, photos, status and parts of your bio. However, only your friends have access things like your birthday, phone number and email address. Also, only your friends can comment on your posts.
- Friends Only
- This is the strictest default setting and only allows your friends access to the content on your profile page.
- This setting has a little bit of everything, keeping your most personal info (phone number, address, and email) private to friends only, but allowing everyone to see your posts and photos.
Any of these default settings can be customized further by clicking the “Customize settings” link in the lower left corner. If you are concerned about privacy, the most important category to restrict is “My status, photos, and posts”.
Opting Out of Public Searches
To remove your profile from public searches, go to the privacy settings page and click the link to “Edit your settings” under Applications and Websites. Click the “Edit Settings” button in Public Search. Uncheck the box and click confirm.
Case Study: Social Media Law Enforcement "Piecing together the Vancouver Riot timeline"
Great search tool that helps you find public data on Facebook