It’s easy to forget, or be ignorant that, anything posted to the Internet will probably be publicly available forever after.
A program written by Ron Bowes, a security consultant at Skull Security, scanned all the listings in Facebook’s open-access directory and then compiled a text file that lists the information he uncovered. That data potentially exposes some Facebook users’ birthdays, addresses, phone numbers and more — but only because they chose not to keep those details private.
“All I’ve done is compile public information into a nice format for statistical analysis,” Bowes told the BBC. He explained that he had simply accessed the same information that’s available to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo — or the countless white-pages services available online.
Facebook users should also be aware that after they have changed their privacy settings, their old profile pages may still be publicly available because they are often stored (or cached) by search engines.