“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. Once “Take This Lollipop” has access to your account, it imports information freely available in your account to demonstrate exactly what a stalker can do with that information. And, of course, it doesn’t have to be someone to whom you have granted access to your account – it can be someone who hacked into it – or even just someone looking at information that you’ve left set to “public” on Facebook, even though you may not realize you’ve done so.
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After accessing your Facebook account, “Take This Lollipop” merges your data into a short (about 2 minutes) video, showing you a scary stalker-type perusing your account, looking at your photos, triangulating between your friends and your location information, and… coming to get you.
Remember, while this is by way of example, it really is using your information that it found in your account, including where you are located, pictures of you and your friends, and pictures with geographically identifying landmarks.
Now, we don’t advise you to ever give out your Facebook username and password – even through Facebook Connect – so we are not going to tell you to try it for yourself.
However, a nice person named Liz Klimas has posted the video that resulted when she accessed “Take This Lollipop”, and here it is:
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