So I logged onto Facebook for the first time in a year or two and it recommends three people:

  1. My dad again
  2. Someone I briefly knew at a different school, and not the last person.
  3. A third person who I don't know but is someone who Facebook could reasonably have found through my friends network. The first two suggestions are not.

A possible explanation: the second person got me to join some other social network whose name I have forgotten. It's possible that I might have used the same email to join both and that Facebook bought and merged their database.

Another possibility is that I may have searched Facebook for the names of these acquaintances years ago and Facebook stored the search requests to datamine later. However, I don't see why I would have searched for this person if I knew that they used a different social network.

Earlier posts on this subject:

  1. Facebook recommends a co-worker with no apparent connections
  2. Facebook recommends my dad -- when I'm using a fake name
  3. Facebook recommends an organization that spammed my email account
  4. Facebook gives me its French version after I read Le Monde
  5. Facebook recommends pages for interests that I removed from my personal information
  6. Facebook recommends my dad -- when he's using a fake name
  7. Facebook recommends an old school acquaintance shortly after her account got hijacked by spammers
  8. Facebook recommends a website that I was reading the night before
  9. Facebook might be recording words spoken near your cell phone

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the NSA phone metadata collection program illegal. They skip over the constitutional question of Smith v. Maryland and say that since it was not authorized by Section 215 or any other law, it is not legal for the government to do. I love it.

A "Smart" television was caught phoning home all of the information it could get. Most people probably still think of TVs as simple translators of analog video and sound signals, if they have any understanding of how a TV works at all. It's not so simple anymore.

This is also a case of shrinkwrap license law being applied to physical hardware. From the comments, a retailer (Curry's) refuses to take the TV back on the grounds that the purchaser had to agree to the terms and conditions after plugging the TV in.

I have a Facebook account to keep in touch with friends from one school, with very few other connections. Facebook is recommending that I friend a person from a different school with a different and unrelated major who I knew for one semester. There should be no connections between us for Facebook to find.

That person has a Yahoo e-mail account that was recently hijacked by spammers who sent a few spam links to the email account that I used to register with Facebook. How could Facebook get ahold of this person's Yahoo e-mail activity? They're not reading mine; I shell out to read my mail. This person also has a compound name and uses different last names on the Yahoo and Facebook accounts.

It is possible that I may have searched for this person on Facebook, that Facebook stored the search, and that Facebook is using past searches to produce recommendations. The sudden recommendation within two weeks of the sudden email activity remains a curious coincidence.


[EDIT: After reloading, Facebook is now taunting me by recommending that I friend some Chinese user that there is surely no relation with. However, this person's name is one letter away from (and phonetically identical to) the name of a person that my mother often contacts through Facebook.]


Earlier posts on this subject:

  1. Facebook recommends a co-worker with no apparent connections
  2. Facebook recommends my dad -- when I'm using a fake name
  3. Facebook recommends an organization that spammed my email account
  4. Facebook gives me its French version after I read Le Monde
  5. Facebook recommends pages for interests that I removed from my personal information
  6. Facebook recommends my dad -- when he's using a fake name
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