Facebook application knows where you’ve been

December 25, 2007

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While doing the casual “who are the friends of my friends?” tour in facebook this evening, I was startled to see this:

Facebook application knows where you've been

OMG!, thought I to myself – now anyone who visits this profile can see that I was the last person to browse it before them. Luckily, this wouldn’t have been too embarrassing since this was the profile of someone I knew, but what if it was someone who didn’t know me?

Once the panic subsided, two thoughts came to mind . One was – would facebook allow such a blatant intrusion on the privacy of its users? And also, why is this showing *my* picture? Shouldn’t it show the picture of the last person before me to visit the profile?

The “I WAS HERE!!!” application page explained: The application is a hoax. Once it is installed, whoever browses your profile is shown their own name and picture to spook them into thinking they’ve been spotted and logged. The application does not actually make the visitors identity available to the owner of the profile (I hope) as this is a violation of the facebook TOS.

I’ve installed the I was here app on my profile, to give people the same jolt as I received and make them think a little about their privacy in facebook. I just hope no one gets a heart attack and survives to sue me.

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