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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Facebook info to go more public

    The designers of the popular social networking Web site Facebook announced Wednesday that they would release names of account holders to search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo.

    This means that everyone with access to the Internet will soon be able to search for any among millions of profiles without actually having their own accounts, leaving the search field open to find friends, students, children or employees.

    “”I feel like it’s a violation of privacy,”” said Leslie Knapp, a nutritional sciences freshman. “”Facebook searches should stay on Facebook.””

    Pre-nursing freshman Sarah Bunic agreed.

    “”I check my Facebook profile multiple times a day, and I think this is kind of creepy,”” she said.

    Philip Fung, a Facebook engineer, posted a blog for the entire Facebook community addressing the reason for the change.

    “”We’re expanding search so that people can see which of their friends are on Facebook more easily,”” Fung said in his blog.

    The move has many students concerned about the dangers of posting details, like birth dates, which are a common identifier for credit card companies and bank accounts.

    “”It is scary with all of the identity theft out there,”” said Adam Rice, a chemical engineering freshman. “”I don’t trust anybody online.””

    The site’s designers and engineers claim that the addition should not affect students negatively as long as they are careful with the privacy features.

    “”The public search listing contains your name and current profile picture thumbnail,”” Fung said in his blog. “”This is less information than someone could find after signing up, so we’re not exposing any new information.””

    Students concerned about their privacy are advised by site designers to edit their information on the “”Search Privacy”” page located under the privacy tab on the upper-right-hand corner.

    Facebook staff members are warning all users about the change a few weeks before the shift to avoid a tidal wave of protests like the ones that occurred in September 2006 when the site introduced a new feature called “”News Feed,”” which showed everything members did on the site, from breakups to hookups.

    Following this change, the outrage from the students was massive. A Facebook group called Students Against Facebook News Feed collected more than 700,000 members.

    Despite the changes that will make Facebook more public, some students said they will still remain loyal to the site.

    “”Oh, I will still use Facebook,”” Rice said. “”I check my profile three times a day. I’m always checking it.””

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