Ping (zestyping) wrote,

What does Facebook's API publish about you and your friends?

A lot of people are concerned about Facebook's recent announcements of new information sharing policies and mechanisms. For those that are curious what Facebook actually exposes about you through its new API, I wrote a little tool that browses the API using the access permissions of a new user with no friends.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Anything you can see with this tool is visible to the public. (Information you don't see is not necessarily private, since there are other ways to get information from Facebook other than this API.)
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Nice tool.

Doesn't look like much information is actually exposed, at least for the users I tried.
Thanks! This was a great check to see how I do. About what I thought so that was nice. I've always wondered....

Thanks again.
This is a terrific idea, but I'm a little confused by "data".

That is, I enter "/vaxjoaberg/activities", click Go, and, after loading, all I see is an empty table with a sole th element that says "data". Perhaps this means there is nothing publicly available? Perhaps this means you really like the android from ST:tNG?

If you were to clean this up a little bit and make it more "user-friendly" I would send it to my family members who are on the facebook so that they could see exactly how much personal information they're giving away. I think they would be surprised.
What you're seeing is a picture of actual response from the Facebook servers. So, in this case, it is sending back a "data" element with nothing in it, which is often what it says when it has nothing to reveal. I agree it's a little cryptic. I changed it to say "(empty)" when the data element is empty.
Nothing of mine was available except my full name and picture. I either got "access denied" or the empty table with "data" that don_rodent mentioned. That's not entirely accurate because when I view my profile after logging out, I can see a random selection of 8 of my friends and a bunch of things I'm a "fan" of. Am I doing something wrong? It's a nifty idea, though.
No, you're not doing anything wrong. This just means that the Facebook API exposes different information than the Facebook site itself.
Ok, that makes sense. Guess i was just confused about the purpose of the tool when you said "from the perspective of a new user with no friends"
Oh, good point. I tried to make my post a bit clearer.