news, business, culture, and disruption

Your Facebook profile: An open invite to crime?

by | Feb 19, 2010 | Facebook, Twitter | 0 comments

We have been warning our friends, fans, and followers for a long time about the information they post on Facebook and Twitter.  Facebook was created a way for Harvard students to communicate, socialize, and track each other (my 94 year old Uncle has a Facebook page. Yikes!). Twitter was created as a way to send text messages to groups of people. People still use these networks as intended but now the reach is in the billions (factoring in that search engines spider and list your Facebook page and Tweets).  And along the way very smart people have figured out, and are working on figuring out, new ways to make money from all of the great, personalized content that you freely give them. The money isn’t in the ads Facebook runs by you, it’s in the content you give them, which they can, and will sell, to among others, the medical and insurance industries. 
Real Age is a great example of what Facebook could do. Real Age takes the user through a form of health and lifestyle questions and at the end gives that person their “real age” as opposed to their “biological age”. The user feels they’ve benefited from their participation. And Real Age has a form of medical information that they sell to the medical community at about $50 a pop. However, participation in the Real Age process is anonymous. The information you offer up is not. 
Below is a link to an article written by Helen A.S. Popkin that we thought would be of interest to you, Your Facebook profile: An open invite to crime?