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Your awkward selfies are actually revealing a ton of data about you and your friends

Nowadays we’re all basically completely jaded about awful tech companies hoovering up all our personal information. Not that any of us should really be surprised. Let’s face it, our Grans have been telling us not to trust the Internet for years now. But as the days roll on, even more revelations emerge about how much creepy […]

Nowadays we’re all basically completely jaded about awful tech companies hoovering up all our personal information. Not that any of us should really be surprised. Let’s face it, our Grans have been telling us not to trust the Internet for years now.

But as the days roll on, even more revelations emerge about how much creepy information social networks keep track of. Now, a new report from the Wall Street Journal looks at what Facebook learns about you every time you upload a selfie.

According to the story, here’s everything a selfie tells Facebook:

1. Your photo

2. Your caption

3. Which user profiles you tagged

4. Where and when you took the photo

5. The type of phone you’re using

6. Your phone’s unique device ID

7. Your mobile provider

8. Nearby Wi-Fi beacons and mobile phone towers (which can work out your current location)

9. Your battery level

10. Facial recognition is then used to analyse all the faces in the shot

Maybe you’ll twice before uploading that next selfie

What makes this particularly terrifying (and reminiscent of that excellent Will Smith movie Enemy of the State) is that Facebook could theoretically then record the location of any face it recognises – even an untagged background face – and cross-reference that with everything it already knows about you. Spooky stuff.

According to lifehacker, you can strip some of this data by editing the photo’s EXIF data or by changing your camera settings, but some data is shared just by opening the Facebook app.

So, basically, there’s no escape. Oh well, constant surveillance sounds like fun doesn’t it? Nothing could ever go wrong with that…

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Erwin Smith

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