Alarm Bells for Privacy – Facebook ‘likes’ predict personality

The findings should “ring alarm bells” for users, privacy campaigners said.

The study used 58,000 volunteers who alongside their Facebook “likes” and demographic information also provided psychometric testing results – designed to highlight personality traits.

The Facebook likes were fed into algorithms and matched with the information from the personality tests.

The algorithms proved 88% accurate for determining male sexuality, 95% accurate in distinguishing African-American from Caucasian-American and 85% for differentiating Republican from Democrat.

Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82% of cases and relationship status and substance abuse was predicted with an accuracy between 65% and 73%.

The links clicked rarely explicitly revealed these attributes. Fewer than 5% of gay users clicked obvious likes such as gay marriage, for instance.

Instead, the algorithms aggregated huge amounts of likes such as music and TV shows to create personal profiles.

via BBC News – Facebook ‘likes’ predict personality.

Data cops seek ‘urgent clarification’ on new Facebook advertiser plans • The Register

Is anyone really surprised that FB are trying to leverage the profile data they have?

The company – which plunged onto Nasdaq in May this year – is doing everything it can to shake as much ad revenue out of the site as possible by unsurprisingly proposing to open its users’ data even more. Some have suggested that this means Facebook will build unified profiles of its users akin to, say, those of Google+.

For example, now that photo-sharing site Instagram is part of the Facebook family, one of the proposals is for the company to share data across its growing estate.

via Data cops seek ‘urgent clarification’ on new Facebook advertiser plans • The Register.

Gaydar relaunches app, but will it unseat Grindr?

So gaydar have finally relaunched their iPhone application. It’s about time too. They used to be the pioneers in dating websites but have let the likes of Grindr and Bender make inroads into the space.

The previous version of the app was abysmal and buggy, wiping peoples website profiles and generally not what you would expect from QSoft. The new revamped version of the app is slick looking in greys and orange, there are still some niggles though which I’d have liked to see fixed, it’s always confused me why usernames aren’t shown on the thumbnails page.

It’s a vast improvement though. The location settings now seem to work which may yet erode into the website paid service as previously this was part of the premium package. Also unlike the new rivals on the block gaydar still has a pay model carried over from the website. No unlimited profile views like grindr and no unlimited messages like bender. Still it’s a step in the right direction and they have a massive user base already to tap into as well as a marketing budget to match the paid subscriber base.

Social vs Professional

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t want everyone I know to know everyone else that I know.
It’s like when you split up from someone and you suddenly lose a group of friends because they were better friends with your now ex partner.
Imagine this in the online world. It would be a nightmare. You have a spat with someone in the office and all of a sudden everyone in your social network is also affected or vice versa.

I use LinkedIn for my professional network and it works well. I use Facebook, Friendster, Thingbox and AIMPages and any number of others for social networking. Essentially whenever I get an invite I join one and when I see one I want to test or evaluate I join it and invite my friends. What I tend not to do is invite the same group of people to all of them.

There are some people with whom I get on with really well on my social networks that I would never put in my professional network the results would be far too unpredictable. Likewise there are people on my professional network I would never invite onto Facebook.

Anyway back to the point. LinkedIn is considering opening their platform to developers if you believe techcrunch and others, or likely will create an app for facebook. I’m struggling to see the market. I know in an ideal world everything would be interoperable but in the real world I think it would cause more problems than it would solve.

Now of course some software manufacturers have entered the fray. Notably IBM’s Lotus Connections which has a delicious style social bookmarking element, a blogging element – despite most companies looking at ways of reigning in the blogosphere rather than promoting it- and profiles.

Social Network Sites

So Facebook is the new MySpace which was the new Friendster which was the new Tribe etc etc.
I was chatting with Davo and he quite rightly said something Anna and I have been banging on about for years. By the time you get to grips with the new site and make your profile nice and complete with pictures and information all your mates have messed off to the new next best thing. Now I’ll admit I’m fickle and am usually one of the first to get bored and move on but it brings me back to the idea of FOAF or at least something similar. I think what’s needed is a social networking site mashup where you can pull in bits from all your other profiles.
Of course the bigger problem with social networking sites is the fact that on-line unlike off-line anyone can be your friend and can see who your other friends are. Off-line we tend to keep our social groups separate we all do it to some degree but on-line you can’t. So my work colleagues can see my drinking buddies which is not necessarily a good thing!