One of the things that Facebook did right was not allowing people to see whether you are logged into Facebook. Unfortunately, they completely undid that when they rolled out Facebook Messenger, and the newest versions of Facebook Messenger turn out to be a stalker’s dream.
“Take This Lollipop”, the creepy Facebook tour through your personal information, is an excellent example of something we have been trying to pound into your heads all along: putting personal information on the Internet (such as location based check ins) can be dangerous. More to the point: most people have no idea how much personal information they really have revealed online, and how easy it is to track them down, stalking them, and worse. “Take this Lollipop” is technically a Facebook app, which is how (and why) it asks for you to log in using Facebook Connect, something that we also advise against.
Amber Duick was minding her own business when she suddenly started receiving a series of scary emails from a Sebastian Bowler – a stranger who seemed not only to know who Duick is, but to know how to find her. Indeed, he knew her previous address, and generally where she lives now, and, he said, he was coming to her house to hide from the police. Amber was terrified – even sleeping with a machete by her bed and insisting that her boyfriend keep mace and a club by his side. Terrified, that is, until she learned that it was all an elaborate marketing stunt being carried out on behalf of Toyota. Toyota’s response? She asked for it, they say, by opting in to their marketing emails.