Is Facebook creating ‘shadow profiles’ for non-members? - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Is Facebook creating ‘shadow profiles’ for non-members?

Updated:
© Image courtesy of Digital Trends © Image courtesy of Digital Trends

By Molly McHugh
Provided by

Facebook is once again being investigated for its privacy practices, and an Ireland advocacy group says the site is building profiles for non-members. The complaint says Facebook is gathering a host of information on non-users, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, and work info and then creates what are being called "shadow profiles."

"By gathering all this information, Facebook Ireland is creating extensive profiles of non-users and it is also enriching existing user profiles. This is done in the background without notice to the data subject; the user or non-users is only experiencing some of the result of these shadow profiles: There are ‘friend' suggestions by Facebook Ireland based on the information or non-users get invitations showing many users that they actually know in real life," the group says [PDF].

If it's true, Facebook is guilty of breaking the Irish Data Protection Act. This isn't the first time the social network has been in hot water overseas, but up to this point it hasn't been accused of secretly constructing profiles. What's more is that Facebook Ireland has to release personal data details upon request, and the complaint accuses it of holding back these non-users details.

How Facebook deals with user data continues to be highly controversial. Its new Open Graph will also heighten how it collects information, and account holders' skepticism is warranted. Again and again, we're warned to read the terms of use statements, use the security features, enlist the provided privacy tools—but the there are holes in all of these solutions.

The only sure-fire way to keep yourself safe from the perils of Facebook has been to not be on it—or so we thought. Facebook already has some 800 million users, so is it really subversively creating profiles in case non-members decide to sign up? If it is, it's not alone. Building "shadow profiles" is sort of a networking site's way of giving you a "for instance" of what being a member looks like.

Still, saying someone else does it is never a good defense—especially when you're the world's largest social network.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Preservation Project on State Route 11

    Preservation Project on State Route 11

    Monday, June 26 2017 9:59 PM EDT2017-06-27 01:59:18 GMT
    State Route 11 is getting a facelift. The Ohio Department of Transportation began microsurfacing and chip sealing six miles of State Route 11 on Monday morning.  The area between Lisbon/SR 154 Exit and the Columbiana Leetonia/SR 558 Exit will be subject to the preservation treatments.  According to ODOT, microsurfacing and chip sealing treatments lower cost of road maintenance in the long term, allowing them to resurface more roads with the savings.  The preservatio...More >>
    State Route 11 is getting a facelift. The Ohio Department of Transportation began microsurfacing and chip sealing six miles of State Route 11 on Monday morning.  The area between Lisbon/SR 154 Exit and the Columbiana Leetonia/SR 558 Exit will be subject to the preservation treatments.  According to ODOT, microsurfacing and chip sealing treatments lower cost of road maintenance in the long term, allowing them to resurface more roads with the savings.  The preservatio...More >>
  • PA Senator hopes to stop sale of Shenango property

    PA Senator hopes to stop sale of Shenango property

    Monday, June 26 2017 9:09 PM EDT2017-06-27 01:09:38 GMT

    A Pennsylvania Senator is combating the sale of a Lawrence County property by sending a resolution to Senate.  Senator Elder Vogel Jr.'s resolution to stop the sale of the Youth Development Center to an Islamic-based educational company is being viewed in Senate on Tuesday.  The YDC has been sitting vacant for over four years.  Hira Educational Services of America bid $400 thousand for the YDC building in the beginning of June. This was the highest bid the state of P...

    More >>

    A Pennsylvania Senator is combating the sale of a Lawrence County property by sending a resolution to Senate.  Senator Elder Vogel Jr.'s resolution to stop the sale of the Youth Development Center to an Islamic-based educational company is being viewed in Senate on Tuesday.  The YDC has been sitting vacant for over four years.  Hira Educational Services of America bid $400 thousand for the YDC building in the beginning of June. This was the highest bid the state of P...

    More >>
  • Israeli doctor who treats Syrian refugees speaks in Youngstown

    Israeli doctor who treats Syrian refugees speaks in Youngstown

    Monday, June 26 2017 10:33 PM EDT2017-06-27 02:33:26 GMT

    Lawmakers and resettlement advocates say the travel ban hurts Syrian refugees. One man who treats Syrian refugees in Israel spoke in Youngstown Monday night at the Jewish Community Center. Dr. Arie Eisenman is the Head of Emergency Medicine at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel. Injured Syrians have received life saving medical care at his hospital soon after the civil war began in that country. "Most of the medical infrastructure in Syria doesn't exist anymore. M...

    More >>

    Lawmakers and resettlement advocates say the travel ban hurts Syrian refugees. One man who treats Syrian refugees in Israel spoke in Youngstown Monday night at the Jewish Community Center. Dr. Arie Eisenman is the Head of Emergency Medicine at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel. Injured Syrians have received life saving medical care at his hospital soon after the civil war began in that country. "Most of the medical infrastructure in Syria doesn't exist anymore. M...

    More >>
Content provided by
INFORMATIONAL DISCLAIMER The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms