Is There a Stalking App?

August 4, 2012

This next article is not about search. . . it is about stalking. CNet News reports, “Stalkbook: Stalk Anyone, Even if You’re Not Facebook Friends.” The dodgy service, developed by MIT grad Oliver Yeh, starts with a simple concept: cache the login information of Facebook friends to see friends’-of-friends pages that would otherwise be hidden. Yeh is building on this idea to develop a roster of such logins so that, eventually, pretty much anyone will be able to see anyone else’s Facebook pages. Oh, great!

Writer Emil Protalinski observes:

“Technically speaking, it is possible to do. He would have to build a very large network of individuals willing to use his app for such purposes, cache all the information he can, all while avoiding Facebook’s wrath as more and more users start using Stalkbook.

“Unfortunately for Yeh and fortunately for Facebook’s users, Stalkbook goes against Facebook’s terms of service (Statement of Rights and Responsibilities). In the Safety section of Facebook’s TOS, point number five clearly states: ‘You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.'”

The app is not yet live, and Facebook officials are aware of its existence. When Protalinski asked the social networking site for comment, a spokesperson pointed him to their Data Use Policy. Yes, Facebook’s terms-of-use shout at someone like Yeh, “you must not do this!”

What a relief! There’s no way this thing could get off the ground illicitly, right?

Cynthia Murrell, August 4, 2012

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