Let this be a warning: we all know what you’re doing.
 
How you ask? Thanks to a new website of the same name, the evil genius of web developer Callum Haywood.
 
We Know What You’re Doing collates trends of publicly available information that people have posted on their Facebook pages, but that they probably don’t want everyone to see.
 
.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So what do you know? Facebook isn't as watertight as everyone thinks it is. Which is why you don't want to end up like one employee of the month on the site who posted: “I’m getting so mad right now I hate my boss Jay I hope he dies better yet I feel like killin him.” Woops.
 
We caught up with Callum to ask: why? The idea started when I saw Tom Scott's "I Know What You Did Five Minutes Ago" video on YouTube, so I started exploring Facebook's Graph API (application programming interface) and quickly realised a lot of information was being shared, information that people wouldn't necessarily want publishing. I made the site to illustrate that this is a real issue, and that people need to check their privacy settings to make sure they aren't sharing everything. Perhaps people think that what they post as 'Public' can only be seen from within Facebook, and not realise that Facebook will happily give this information out to other sites via its API.
 
The problem is not with Facebook themselves, the privacy controls are very good when they are employed correctly by people using the site, but more people need to be made aware of the issue.
 
So is this simply a demonstration in web privacy (or not) or a longer-term project?
 
I have no plans to take the website offline, however there may be changes depending on peoples reactions towards it. An example of this is how earlier today I stopped the phone numbers from being openly published, because a group of people thought that it was irresponsible of me, and I agree with them. I'm not aiming to put anyone at risk, I just want them to see what can happen.
 
What do you make to Julian Assange’s claim that Facebook is “the greatest spying tool the world has ever seen”?
 
I agree with Julian Assange's claim to some extent, it is the greatest spying tool, but there is also not a problem with it if you are cautious with your privacy settings, and if you set the default option to 'friends' only, make sure you know who those people are. The best choice is the 'custom' sharing option, where you can choose exactly who can and can't see your posts.
 
Is it more a case of a single person’s careless whisper about a hangover, pulling a sickie or hating their boss, or is there something more insidious to the relationship between Facebook and public privacy?
 
The site was designed to publicise the risks of sharing too much information publicly. From what I have observed in relation to responses to the site, it is either the users problem or it is Facebook's problem depending on how it is looked at. Ultimately I believe it to be the users problem, however I do also believe Facebook can do more to educate its users about the choices they make. 
 
Have you personally ever been caught short after publishing something through Facebook, Twitter, etc.?  I have not yet been caught out publishing something through social networking that I wouldn't want anyone to see. For example, I always post on my personal Facebook account using the custom privacy setting, where I have explicitly defined who can and cannot see my posts.
 
Top tips.
 
So next time you’re hanging out of your arse and don’t fancy going into work, just remember: we all know what you’re doing. And your boss might if you're not careful.

Share on Facebook
  • Music
  • Style
  • Life
  • Subcasts
  • Essay
BEHIND SYRIA
Syria: living under an iron curtain all of its own.
FACEBOOK FOIBLE #235
Are Facebook users as free as they think they are?
STUDENT STRIPPER
We interviewed Cara, a student dancing to get by. Victim or self-made woman?
CINEMA'S MUSHROOM CLOUD
The Cold War B-movies that could blow up all over again.
OBAMA'S NO ANGEL
After a not-so hectic election night, Barack Obama has the opportunity to right his many wrongs....
SUPERSTORM DISASTER DREAM
Why there's more than meets the eye to the Sandy story.
GENTRIFICATION IN ACTION
Brixton's buzzing. But will the predictable threat of gentrification destroy the community?
BARACK OBAMA'S JAZZ
The coolest President in the history of the USA gets some jazz treatment.
SALAMWORLD
In Novemeber a Muslim alternative to Facebook will launch: is global social media breaking up?
IS THIS MYSPACE?
The original paper tiger of social media is back. And it looks fucking cool.
THE RISE OF THE COFFEE SHOP INDIE
The Indie Scene is Going Mainstream. Substance reports.
CHUCK NORRIS BLESS AMERICA
VIDEO: Another Hollywood giant makes a right old Republican of himself.
COPYING THE COPY-CAT
Tom Rollins asks what encourages copy-cats to go postal: nasty films or gun laws?
SHOOT AN' CRY
NBC's Stars Earn Stripes earns its place in TV hell
MEDITATING ON THE RECESSION
Unemployed? Skint? Fearghus Roulston finds the new spiritual side of the recession in Manchester.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Christopher Nolan's Batman remembers 9/11 better than most
OUR LABOUR IS THE NEW LABOUR
Sedgefield has always had a special place in the history of the Labour movement.
THE RACIST GENIE
How Liverpool, Capello, Luis Suarez and John Terry let it out of the bottle.
SOUNDING OFF: The Love Police
Tackling one man's hipster hate on Brick Lane
KEEPING IT (UN)REAL.
X Factor and today's mass media: is reality TV changing the way we look at the world?
COMING AT YOU
The Future of 3D Technology
METAFICTIONAL TITTY PINCHERS
A great year for experimental fiction
THEY OWN YOUR DOWNLOADS
The great IP swindle...
FIGHT THE POWER
Political Violence Defended
THE DEATH OF BRICK LANE
Pen-pushers trashing cultural zones...