Friday, 28 October 2011

Facebook is watching your activities, beware: But Facebook can be booked for privacy breach

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Facebook, which agreed that it's keeping a tab on its 7.5
crore members although not with any mala fide intentions, can be
booked for breach of privacy.

According to cyber security and crime experts, though the Facebook
claimed that it had been "inadvertently" watching the web pages its
members visit even when they have logged out, the social networking
site has to prove its innocence. "Whatever be the intention,
inadvertent or deliberate, sneaking into someone's computer and
looking into their browsing history is an offence under cyber crime
laws, points out internet security expert MH Noble of Zoom Technologies.

Additional superintendent of police (cyber crime) U Rammohan argues
that if the Facebook had intentionally downloaded its software into
the computers of its members so that it could watch their internet
movements, it has "committed a blunder". The company can be booked
under cyber laws.

Rammohan says if some Facebook member lodges a complaint with
evidence, the cyber crime police will investigate the case and if need
be, will alert the Interpol. Many websites leave their cookies behind
and ideally they become inactivated once the browser logs out. But
there are certain cookies which keep a track of the member even after
logging out.

Facebook members have expressed anger over "stealing" of personal
info. Says John Kandru, an MBA student of Badruka College, "this is
not ethical on the Facebook's part to intrude into my personal
computer and monitor the info that I have not authorised them. I think
it should be reported and one's privacy should be respected." This
definitely is a security threat, he adds.

The social networking site had admitted after a blogger from Australia
had lodged a complaint. The software automatically downloaded to
users' computer when they logged in to Facebook send information to
the company, whether or not they were logged in at the time.

"Facebook has its own image and publicity among all age groups around
the world. There seems to be no need for proxy surveying. I would not
want all I do being watched. My credit card details and personal
information might be stolen as well which is very risky," fears DRC
Kiron, tennis coach.

According to Noble, installation of intrusion prevention system on
one's computer will prevent others from sneaking into one's privacy.
"Delete cookies manually, use disk cleaner and log into internet from
a different browser to prevent cyber intrusion," he suggests.

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