We're always being told to be careful about the information we share on social media, because it could be used by criminals or advertisers. But just how much information do we potentially make available about ourselves, simply by browsing a web site? Is there really enough to prove useful to a cybercriminal or to someone who wants to know our in-depth shopping behaviours?
That's what a couple of researchers wondered. So they came up with a program called Data Selfie. It's an extension for Chrome which, whenever you use Facebook, monitors everything you do. And how long you do it for. So it knows which friends' posts interest you most, and which companies' pages you spend time looking at. And loads more besides.
The results, shown on a really nice looking dashboard screen, are purely for your benefit. The gathered data doesn't go to the app's developers and it doesn't go to Facebook either. But it does illustrate very well that social media companies could, and probably do, accumulate massive amounts of personal data. Enough to revolutionise the way we live, communicate, and buy.
Data Selfie is free, and is at https://dataselfie.it. It currently only works with Chrome, and only monitors Facebook. There are plans for a Firefox version.
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