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Does the Facebook phenomenon pose a risk?

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Originally created to bring Harvard students together, Facebook rapidly expanded to other American universities, and since May 2007 it has become an indispensable social tool, especially for young people and students. The principle is very simple: by opening a personal account, one can interact with more than 60 million Internet users across five continents.

The proliferation of applications ranging from a simple arcade game in the vein of Pacman to a platform for the election of "President of the World" has made this social network a fashionable playground for voyeurism and a good way to build a virtual address book. The network grows by over 100,000 users per day and is destined to become "the largest social network in the world" according to entrepreneur Paul Allen.

Just like Bill Gates, Facebook is the creation of Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student and the high-powered executive behind this globally recognized start-up worth15 billion dollars and which is currently being pursued by Microsoft and Google. In addition to its playful and social characteristic, Facebook is also a phenomenon by the many controversies it raises. Initially, there was the technological risk. This was followed by a fear regarding the protection of privacy. The establishment of a new advertising practice has also raised an outcry.

And finally, Facebook is likely to be manipulated and sometimes tends to move away from its original purpose. These are the points we will discuss to show that Facebook is a phenomenon that has to be handled with caution. The origin of the debate over the confidentiality of information about Facebook has been in publicized in August 2007 (portion of source code), that is to say, writing of a program that allows computer to be human readable and understandable the main page of Facebook.

The flaw was unveiled by a blog called Facebook Secrets which is now closed.
The first risk is the use of this code by hackers to find new holes in the architecture of Facebook and thus make the site's security even more precarious. TechCrunch site was one of the first to relay information and the expert who wrote the article said that he "sees the same elements in the code that reveals hidden aspects of the platform and provides a potential basis for intruders."

Facebook's response was swift and has sought to reassure: "This was not a breach and does not compromise the user data. The publication of such codes violated many laws and asked people not to do it ". The fact is that all major social networks like experiencing similar intrusions in their development, the question is if Facebook has, or will protect against malicious attacks and assure its users privacy they are entitled to expect.

The issue of confidentiality: Beyond the risk of hacking as we have just mentioned, privacy on Facebook is an imprecise concept. So just type in the search engine home page any name to access many such profiles sorted by region. Thus, finding a Lucy in Paris becomes a breeze, especially when several pictures of this person is accessible by all.

Tags: Facebook, social networking, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Microsoft and Google.

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