Screencast: Evil randomly displays the private phone numbers of unsuspecting Facebook users.

tomscott.com – Evil randomly displays the private phone numbers of unsuspecting Facebook users. Just in case it breaks or gets a big rush of visitors that push it over the limit for Facebook, here’s a screencast. There are uncountable numbers of groups on Facebook called “lost my phone!!!!! need ur numbers!!!!!” or something like that. Most of them are marked as ‘public’, and a lot of folks don’t understand what that means in Facebook’s context — to Facebook, ‘public’ means everyone in the world, whether they’re a Facebook member or not. So Evil uses the graph API to search for groups about lost phones, picks a couple at random, extracts the phone numbers, and shows them here. The site isn’t doing anything that you couldn’t already do manually, or by just doing a Google search. It’s just a bit more dramatic. How do you make sure your number doesn’t show up? Go into all the “lost number” groups you’ve ever joined. Ever. And delete your posts. It’s called Evil, not diabolic. The results are slightly censored, but those digits are publicly available. Anyone could scrape them. And produce a phone directory. Or nick them for marketing. Don’t forget, the Facebook pages you “Like” are public too.

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