Like many other people, despite efforts by social networks I go out of my way to keep my business and personal live separate. Don’t have anything to hide in either, but aside from my company’s CEO, who happens to be a personal friend, there are no other connections between my business and personal life. So, aside from the need to keep corporate secrets secret, there really is no need to complicate my family and friends with my business life.
In order to manage our company page on Facebook, as well as setup accounts on Twitter, and a multitude of search sites, I created a pseudo identity along with an email address, email@example.com. I can login to this Facebook account and manage our FB page without worry that Facebook will change their security settings tomorrow and start adding my personal wall posts to my company’s timeline. This identity has no; friends, likes, no linked email boxes, nothing. All settings are turned off. It is simply a portal to get to our company Facebook page.
Well, recently I have been getting emails addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org hammering me with messages to Like friends and family that I already Like (or some I haven’t chosen to Like) on my personal Facebook page. So, where did Facebook get this information, linking an email account, with a fictitious name, birthday, the works. I read mail addressed to this account on my desktop and phone, but the mailbox is not linked to any others. So, is Microsoft providing this information? Or, is Facebook data mining in some other way? I realize that Facebook’s Mission Statement is to get every living creature on this earth to Like every other living creature, but if they are breaking the law to do that, well that’s just evil. It really sucks that I get bombarded with Like suggestions every time I log in to this account now, but I guess it’s better than the alternative.
Case#2 – Recently, my nephews alternative band was part of Facebook contest that involved voting via Facebook. So, to get a extra vote, I created a pseudo persona called Jim Mitchell, and used the email@example.com account I use for our MD StaffNotify messages (aka Mobility Leaks) to create another Facebook account. Again, I turned everything off, didn’t raid any email address books, or do anything else to propagate this temporary account. Recently, I have started getting emails asking me to Like other Mobility Digest staff members, and even some developers who I may have contacted once a couple years ago. I am sure they are getting messages to like Jim Mitchell (who the hell is Jim Mitchell they must be thinking). Again, where did Facebook get this information. Yes, I check this mail account on my phone and using Yahoo online, but I don’t link it with anything else.
As I have almost no identity with Google, can’t blame them. So is Facebook acting alone, paying for information in dark alleys? Or are all the big players in cahoots with Facebook, supplying contact info freely, WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. Inquiring minds want to know.