Facebook Just Got A Whole Lot Creepier

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I’ve been creeped out by Facebook for a long time now. The following story takes it to another level.

From Fusion:

While some of these incredibly accurate friend suggestions are amusing, others are alarming, such as this story from Lisa*, a psychiatrist who is an infrequent Facebook user, mostly signing in to RSVP for events. Last summer, she noticed that the social network had started recommending her patients as friends—and she had no idea why.


“I haven’t shared my email or phone contacts with Facebook,” she told me over the phone.


The next week, things got weirder.


Most of her patients are senior citizens or people with serious health or developmental issues, but she has one outlier: a 30-something snowboarder. Usually, Facebook would recommend he friend people his own age, who snowboard and jump out of planes. But Lisa told me that he had started seeing older and infirm people, such as a 70-year-old gentleman with a walker and someone with cerebral palsy.


“He laughed and said, ‘I don’t know any of these people who showed up on my list— I’m guessing they see you,’” recounted Lisa. “He showed me the list of friend recommendations, and I recognized some of my patients.”


She sat there awkwardly and silently. To let him know that his suspicion was correct would violate her duty to protect her patients’ privacy.


Another one of her female patients had a friend recommendation pop up for a fellow patient she recognized from the office’s elevator. Suddenly, she knew the other patient’s full name along with all their Facebook profile information.


“It’s a massive privacy fail,” said Lisa. “I have patients with HIV, people that have attempted suicide and women in coercive and violent relationships.”


Lisa lives in a relatively small town and was alarmed that Facebook was inadvertently outing people with health and psychiatric issues to her network. She’s a tech-savvy person, familiar with VPNs, Tor and computer security practices recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation–but she had no idea what was causing it.


She hadn’t friended any of her patients on Facebook, nor looked up their profiles. She didn’t have a guest wifi network at the office that they were all using. After seeing my report that Facebook was using location from people’s smartphones to make friend recommendations, she was convinced this happened because she had logged into Facebook at the office on her personal computer. She thought that Facebook had figured out that she and her patients were all in the same place repeatedly. However, Facebook says it only briefly used location for friend recommendations in a test and that it was just “at the city-level.


When Lisa looked at her Facebook profile, she was surprised to see that she had, at some point, given Facebook her cell phone number. It’s a number that her patients could also have in their phones. Many people don’t realize that if they give Facebook access to their phone contacts, it uses that information to make friend recommendations; so if your ex-boss or your one-time Tinder date or your psychiatrist is a contact in your phone, you might start seeing them pop up in the “People You May Know” list.


That’s my guess as to how this happened.

The above tale presents a good opportunity to revisit a post highlighted last year by Salim Varani titled, A Very Disturbing and Powerful Post – “Get Your Loved Ones Off Facebook.” In it, he warned:

“Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you why you’re getting off Facebook,” is the guilty and reluctant question I’m hearing a lot these days. Like we kinda know Facebook is bad, but don’t really want to know.


I’ve been a big Facebook supporter – one of the first users in my social group who championed what a great way it was to stay in touch, way back in 2006. I got my mum and brothers on it, and around 20 other people. I’ve even taught Facebook marketing in one of the UK’s biggest tech education projects, Digital Business Academy. I’m a techie and a marketer — so I can see the implications — and until now, they hadn’t worried me. I’ve been pretty dismissive towards people who hesitate with privacy concerns.


With this latest privacy change on January 30th, I’m scared.

For more on the perils of Facebook, see:

Former Facebook Curators Reveal How Conservative News is Censored

Video of the Day – Three Former U.S. Treasury Secretaries and a Facebook Executive Laugh About Income Inequality

At Facebook, Some Hate Speech is More Equal Than Others

Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying for Privacy Destroying “Cyber Security” Bill

Facebook Reveals its Master Plan – Control All News Flow

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
buzzsaw99's picture

she had it coming. her patients should find a different doctor who isn't a dipshit.

Manthong's picture

Heh heh... I have never been on Facef*ck.

buzzsaw99's picture

me either, and if i was i sure the phuck wouldn't give them my cell phone contact list.

buzzsaw99's picture

then she goes on to provide EVEN MORE INFO ABOUT HER PATIENTS!!!



“It’s a massive privacy fail,” said Lisa. “I have patients with HIV, people that have attempted suicide and women in coercive and violent relationships.”



Haus-Targaryen's picture

My wife's families, after the fall of the wall, requested from the German government a copy of the files the Stasi had on them.  While the overwhelming majority of the former East German population were able to recover and view their files ... both my in-laws as well as everyone in their family weren't as these files "were lost or stolen."  

As some of the older Stasi informants started dying off over the past 10 years, lots of death bed confessions have begun popping up of family members files being destroyed in the final days of the USSR so their family members wouldn't know who was spying on them.  We all assume this is what happened to my in-laws and no one at this point, really wants to know who in the family worked for the Stasi (although we have our suspensions).  

What *IS* interesting is the files that were released, many of them contained very detailed aspects of a persons life, the grocery store they shopped at, what kind of tooth paste they liked, where they lived, what they said publicly and privately about the SED, USSR, socialism, etc., etc., They contained what kind and color of bicycle they had, obviously where they lived, where they work, how they get to work, when they get there and when they leave.  These filed contained information about who they kids were, what school they went to, what their kids would say and talk about at school, etc., etc., 

The reason I bring up all this up is quite simple -- I imagine FacebookGoogleAppleMicrosoft have essentially the exact same information on all of us.  This you are anonymous behind your ZH username?  Doubt it. Think your cash only purchases of AG and AU prohibit the .gov from knowing about it?  Unlikely.  

You see, our entire lives are copied on a server somewhere the alphabet soup agencies all have access to.  

When this whole thing collapses in on itself, I wonder if we'll be allowed to see the records the .gov has on us, or will they all be bleachbitted into oblivion?  

buzzsaw99's picture

the modern day stasi has all the info of course but that doesn't excuse people who tell the whole world that you have aids and are suicidal with anal warts.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

er - she didnt mention names. Facebook did. Every doctor has patients with those circumstances, i dont see whats indiscreet about talking in generalisations. And she may well have never given her ph number directly to facebook, but other apps that she may have are fed into facebook without her knowledge/consent. Its fucking sinister and she's not a complete dolt for not realising until now the insidious pervasiveness of facebooks digital voyeurism.

henceforth, sure, burn her, but as you have admitted not to having a facebook account, you cant be in a position to judge how incrementally difficult its been to quarantine your information

maybe in a few years time some internet service will spew your information everywhere just simply from connections to your ZH profile and you'll be 'how coulddeye have known?'

spare your judgement for the real assholes, not the victims. far out man.

buzzsaw99's picture

generalizations are okay? well here's a generalization. the medical profession is full of stupid jackboot licking assholes.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Facebook is a powerful tool for communicating with friends and family, doing business and launching charity programs. But unfortunately far right extremists have now started using it to promote their own hateful and bigoted agendas. Facebook needs to be firm with extremists who seek to exploit their platform - we need strict guidelines that restrict the type of content that can be posted. We also need to do the same for the entire internet, but so far congress has been incredible slow and ineffective on this front.

mtl4's picture

Lisa, seriously I don't know how you can use the word Facebook and privacy in the same sentence.........even pokemon go is a similar scam by google.

beemasters's picture

Just so you know...

Facebook’s WhatsApp Privacy Changes Raise EU, U.S. Concerns


"WhatsApp made a commitment to its users, to the Federal Trade Commission, and to privacy authorities around the world not to disclose user data to Facebook," Marc Rotenberg, president of EPIC, said in a statement. "Now they have broken that commitment."

Lumberjack's picture


Everything We Know About NSO Group: The Professional Spies Who Hacked iPhones With A Single Text



NSO Group employees’ lives must seem no different from others in the Israeli tech scene. They turn up every morning at their office in Herzelia, in Tel Aviv’s northern district, take the lift in the plain looking complex – all grey and sandy exteriors – through smart card-lock doors and into to their similarly spartan offices. On the way they give a nod to their neighbours, fraud analysts from EMC-owned RSA, whose job it is to trawl the dark web for cybercriminals’ latest escapades. They might even have time for a brief confab with staffers at their sister company, a secure smartphone designer. Then they settle down to code.

But for the last six years, their everyday routine has been nothing less than extraordinary: create the world’s most invasive mobile spy kit without ever exposing their work. Now, though, they’ve been busted exploiting iPhones in some of the most astonishing attacks yet seen in the world of private espionage.


Snowden weighs in on this...


Now for MSM to blame Russia in 3,2,1...

Lumberjack's picture

This malware sold to governments could help them spy on iPhones, researchers say




Many people assume their iPhones are secure, but new research sent Apple scrambling to fix vulnerabilities that left users at risk.

Spyware relying on three previously unknown, or “zero-day,” flaws in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system for years made it possible for governments to take over victims' phones by tricking them into clicking on a link in a text message, according to new reports from Lookout, a cybersecurity firm that looks for security holes in mobile products, and Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

"This is the most sophisticated bad actor we have ever seen targeting mobile phones out in the wild," said Mike Murray, vice president of security research at Lookout.

The malware, which the researchers said came from an Israeli company called NSO Group that was bought by the U.S. private equity firm Francisco Partners in 2014, was used to target journalists and activists in some cases, according to Citizen Lab, a group focused on the intersection of technology and information security.

Ghost of Porky's picture

Snowden already told us iphones are far from secure.

Overflow-admin's picture

I guess we have a new category of software: FARMWARE: the software that FARMS you.

/soylentgreen 2.0

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Whats next, you will tell me that Israel is run by Zionists, is essentially the State of Rothschild, and is a safe haven for the world's richest white collar criminals aka billionaires?

michelp's picture


You're ALWAYS so predictable and boring that I suspect you will live a long life and continuously annoy everyone crossing your path until THE END.

Keep having fun. You are the only one enjoying it.


PavlovPup's picture

Really?it's just a ritual thing. I always think "MDB what's his pro-establishment paragraph for this?" Its an empty silly sometimes amusing ritual, usually with a few witty replies. Ever just relax and be slightly stupid anymore?


GreatUncle's picture

Noticed how MDB seems to be more concerned with his own survival now?

In the beginning, fine, tried to offer you choices etc. suggestion, farcical sometimes.

Now though he suggests a higher level of fear in his phrases ... does Clinton execute him if he don't do better?

NotApplicable's picture

I'm guessing he's just trying to remain relevant. After all, even trolltastic, sarcastic rhetoric grows stale after a while as people learn to ignore him.

It's dangerous to longevity being a one-trick pony.

hongdo's picture

Boring being the key word.  MDB used to be entertaining and I think there has been a pass of the blog baton to someone who is not as talented.  Makes you think about the fine line between entertaining/original/offbeat and pedantic/dogmatic/reaching.  Kind of like comparing Milo to ISIS.

BabaLooey's picture


Keep smoking that opium....it suits you.

Count Ayjin de le Verage's picture

"...we need strict guidelines that restrict the type of content that can be posted."


Restricted speech?  And who determines what is to be restricted?


So, is it the Chinese internet security agancy you subvert for or the Russian?


DillyBoneredHoax, Fuck Face Book is a tool for subversive, alphabet-agency intelligence gathering, whether U.S.S.A or U.S.S.E or PRC or the new U.S.S.R.... 


A telephone is a perfect tool for communicating with friends and family; preferrably an analogue network.  Charity drives are also efficiently served by the humble telephone. 


The extremism of big-government corporatists, regardless of left- or right- 'wingedness', promote their hateful, bigoted, discriminatory agendas against cirizens.  The corporatist NWO agenda is that of totalitarianism.  This agenda robs citizens of: liberty, free speech, the fruit of their labour by excessive taxation, the right to keep and bear arms, etc.


The extremism of the totalitarian corporatists, such as yourself, is causing the curtains to be drawn back to expose the characteristics of Facebook as being a cultural marxist platform. The cultural marxism of Facebook SUPPRESSES THE VOICE OF DISSENT.  This suppresses damages public discussion that exposes the subversive actions of people like Zuckerberg,  Hillary Clinton and Angela Merckel.


Facebook suppresses the commuication of people who want to "out' the schizophrenic tendencies of the fake- liberal, fake- conservative agenda (singular) - two wings of the same bird.


Dissent is essential to liberty.


You are a troll. 


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

So you think people should be able to say whatever they want on a public platform? That's extreme.

Count Ayjin de le Verage's picture


You are very young still.  And some day you will grow up, enter the land of maturity, and make something of yourself.


Free speech precludes yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre.  A person needs to go to jail for such destructive behaviour.


Yelling in a crowded theatre that "politician "(insert name here)" has the wrong solution for our slife!" IS free speech.  This yelling may get me, you, someone a punch in the mouth.  This would be my desired result.  Any man or woman getting punched in the mouth for political dissent, libertarian, democratic, republican, communist, is A-OK in my book.  Being shot, knifed or imprisoned for political dissent is an evil that, without exception, the theatre of people need to pounce all over.


Cultural Marxist political activism that you see permeating the U.S. electoral cycle in 2016 is anti-human, anti-liberty, anti-rational,... anti-free speech.  Hate and yell at fascism.  Hate and yell at communism.  It is liberty to do so.



One final, yet important point:


READ THE FACEBOOK EULA DISCLAIMER: from Facebook - "Your shit is now our shit to do with as we please"


  1. Facebook is not government.
  2. Every end-user of Facebook has contracted with FB.
  3. That contract lays out many abhorrent rights, in favour of Facebook, that end-users are giving away to use that surveillance platform - like the right to use photos you post for their edvertising - which in turn gives express, written permission to do what they are doing.
  4. Facebook does not force this contract upon you.


Stop contracting with collectivist, totalitarian entities, including politicians.


hongdo's picture

Yeah. To elaborate.  It's like the free market, if it stinks it don't sell and it disapears.  The best ideas and logical arguments will survive.  AND only the entertaining trolls survive.  Up your game.

poeg's picture

Unless you get a government chimp to grant you a novel use patent then the worst bit of software in the world becomes a monopoly unto itself. Visit the Shadow Patent Office, it's the best time you'll have perusing actual patent subs, cross references and the names of the actual developers.

white horse's picture

“I have been made victorious through terror.”

moneybots's picture

Fangasmic sarchasm, as always.


Didn't know Russia had whirled peas.

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Great stuff, MDB_, your satire(?) does not dissapoint!

I still downvoted you.

Chuck Walla's picture

Yeah, Zuckerberg, closet Trumpist.  Just to the right of Atilla the Hun.


Upswaller's picture

Keep it up, MDB.  At least some of us recognise brilliant satire.  Noobs not so much.

Million Dollar Bonehead's picture

It is important for the .gov to have access to personal information so they can keep us safe. When we finally move the undesirables into FEMA camps we certainly don't want any mixups so we need to know who is a danger to society. A comprehensive government database of our daily activities will help them efficiently remove dangerous fringe groups from society so that they can be chemically castrated and properly medicated for service on the communal work farms and fetus harvesting centers..

Count Ayjin de le Verage's picture






Out of habit I downvote anything starting with million dollar ... in it.  Stay calm, expose on.


+ 100 for troll trolling....

ChargingHandle's picture

And guss what..  you've been tagged to be an outstanding outhouse bucket emptier at the fema camp.  

Million Dollar Bonehead's picture

I would happily serve our leaders in any capacity. However, my preferred job would be as an educator teaching young children to adore our dear leaders, and performing medical experiments on them.

Vageling's picture

North-Korea has openings! They would love you to teach kids about their "great glorious leader". How I know? Well he just bombed some who didn't so great with missiles. 

hongdo's picture

Poor quality trolling......  There is no hope to educate you to be more entertaining let alone persuasive.  Sorry, can't help here. Pathetic.

Vageling's picture

So MDB brought in his retarded cousin. Just fucking great. Why don't you two start your own platform. Sure Soros will write you fools a check.

Derezzed's picture

What I don't understand is why there is no suitable alternative to fecebook already, the same can be said about twatter ...

jaxville's picture

  There were more than a few facebook type sites before facebook was around.  The question you need to ask is why did facebook get big while others languished?


pods's picture

Joo can't ask that question.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Remember when you first used the net in what, '97, '98?  And what were the top do's and don't.  DON'T SHARE PERSONAL INFO ONLINE.

And then along comes Facebook and all of a sudden its: "Don't share your personal info online, but its ok to share it all on Facebook!"

Hmm... Almost like people were herded into it... Hmm...

SafelyGraze's picture

the link to the fusion story includes the following tail:


which would be improved with tags like online_source=zerohedge and so forth

so that they can serve you better by knowing how you find the information and who you shared it with and where you were located when you clicked

TruxtonSpangler's picture

Not having a social media account makes you a terrorist