Facebook Now Suggesting Friends Found in Imported Contact Lists?

Facebook has been using its “Suggestions” area of the home page to recommend friends you may know for a while now (and more recently, suggested public profiles you may like). While Facebook has traditionally calculated its list of “People You May Know” by analyzing the social graph – choosing friends of friends, etc. – many users have started noticing this week that Facebook appears to be suggesting people not because they’re friends of friends, but because their contact records were imported using Facebook’s “Find People You Email” feature at some point in the past.

contactimporter

This apparent change in the Suggestions algorithm has some users concerned because, if those imported contacts were indeed stored, Facebook didn’t make it clear that they were doing so at the time. Facebook’s contact importer page says that “Facebook will not store your password,” but it doesn’t say whether or not Facebook retains imported contacts for future use.

When asked if Facebook is incorporating imported contacts into the Suggestions feature, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly told us, “We are constantly iterating on the algorithm that we use to determine the Suggestions section of the home page.  We do not share details about the algorithm itself.”

Nevertheless, concerned users say they are “spooked” by the appearance of people they emailed years ago on their Facebook home page.

If Facebook is indeed storing imported contacts for the purposes of future friend suggestions, it should make that more clear. Because Facebook appears to only be using that information to make helpful friend suggestions, most users would not be concerned. Facebook generally has very high standards when it comes to user privacy, and not giving users the choice to not have their imported contacts saved isn’t worth “spooking” users who don’t want to see people they’ve emailed in the past showing up in their suggested friends list in the future.

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80 Responses to “Facebook Now Suggesting Friends Found in Imported Contact Lists?”

  1. Paul says:

    yes, facebook is now suggesting friends found from importing your email address book. i noticed this about 3 weeks ago when certain people starting appearing in suggestions and i had no idea how facebook knew that i knew them! it was a bit disconcerting at first, but now i know, i find it a useful feature to know when friends join facebook.

  2. Michael Bauser says:

    This isn’t a surprise to me. I already knew Facebook was holding on to e-mail adddresses forever — I’ve sent Facebook event invites to non-members using their e-mail address, and then found us automagically friends when those people joined Facebook years later.

    It’s a corporation, people. If they don’t say they’re deleting your info, they’re not deleting your info.

  3. dzr says:

    sidenote – I wouldn’t recommend anyone use the import from email feature. It sends an invitation not just to those people in your contact list but EVERY email that has ever passed through your account – emails that had you on the CC list, that weirdo that answered your craigslist ad… etc.

    I was on a teen festival mailing and it sent invites to hundreds of teenagers to be friends with me – a 40 year old adult they had never heard of… creepy.

  4. anon says:

    “It’s a corporation, people. If they don’t say they’re deleting your info, they’re not deleting your info.”

    And they must be called out for it when it happens.

    Thank you, Justin.

  5. Ashley says:

    I noticed this just today and was googling around for answers when I found your site. That they are keeing e-mail addresses is the ONLY logical reason my shitty ex-boyfriend would be showing up in my “suggestions”. We have no mutual friends, no mutual interests, live in different states and have never gone to the same school. There is NO reason that facebook should link us, except for the notion that facebook has stored my address book somewhere.

    Facebook is getting increasingly creapy. I have accepted that Google reads my e-mail and trys to send me things, I just don’t like that facebook is reading my e-mail too.

  6. Jeff says:

    The creepiest thing? Does fb send you as a suggestion to the contacts they (obviously) stored from your import? This is indeed, intrusive.

  7. River says:

    My concern is some people whom I had blocked months ago, started showing up in my “Suggestions” section recently.

    If I want to be friend with them, I wouldn’t block them in the first place, would I?

  8. links for 2009-06-13 | Ip's. says:

    [...] Facebook Now Suggesting Friends Found in Imported Contact Lists? "If Facebook is indeed storing imported contacts for the purposes of future friend suggestions, it should make that more clear. Because Facebook appears to only be using that information to make helpful friend suggestions, most users would not be concerned. Facebook generally has very high standards when it comes to user privacy, and not giving users the choice to not have their imported contacts saved isn’t worth “spooking” users who don’t want to see people they’ve emailed in the past showing up in their suggested friends list in the future." (tags: facebook privacy e-mail) [...]

  9. Tesseract says:

    I noticed a few weeks ago an old GF popped up as someone who I may know and since none of my friends on FB know her, how was this possible? I looked deeper and saw others come up who I only have through my listed email address but NEVER did I give my password to that account to FB, I just don’t do these things anymore. Am I crazy?

  10. Mason says:

    This is happening to me too. Its super creepy and it pisses me off. I think people that used their email contact list to find friends didn’t want to add me, but facebook took note of the connection and then asked me if I wanted to connect with them. No I dont want to add them they’re casual acquaintances!

  11. mike says:

    yeah, this happened to me too and I never gave facebook my email password… only thing I can think of is that the other person used friend finder and gave them her password and now i see her on the suggestions list. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

  12. shep says:

    “Nevertheless, concerned users say they are “spooked” by the appearance of people they emailed years ago on their Facebook home page.”

    I’m spooked by the fact that a couple of suggestions coming up are people that I have emailed long SINCE I rather stupidly did the friend finder thing in 2007… feeling thoroughly invaded.

  13. Now Users Can Remove Contacts Automatically Saved by Facebook’s Friend Finder says:

    [...] weeks ago, many Facebook users began asking questions about curiously good recommendations suddenly appearing in Facebook’s “People You May Know” suggestions list. At the [...]

  14. The Future of Media » Blog Archive » Facebook’s creepy friend suggestions says:

    [...] InsiderFacebook.com, a marketing and development forum has this unhelpful quote from Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, Chris Kelly: “We are constantly iterating on the algorithm that we use to determine the Suggestions section of the home page.  We do not share details about the algorithm itself.” [...]

  15. Angela says:

    what if you don’t have a contacts list? A guy I dated a few months back is now showing up in my suggested friends list. We have no mutual friends. I never stored his information in my contacts list, and actually deleted all of his emails as well as emails I sent him so as to leave no trace. So what the hell? Can they be added if they have been looking at your profile (a lot?). As an aside, he is the only one showing up, no one else I email. Weird.

  16. charles says:

    if some guy/girl has been stalking you, searching your email address to see if you have an account with facebook, or just to look at your profile, it’s giving facebook idea that you might know this person, and that is why they are showing up as suggestions. no other explanation necessary. so the person who shows up as suggestion (even if you have no mutual friends/ no same network).. that means that person has been actively looking for ya. easy and simple.

  17. pancoes says:

    If FB is using past emails/contacts to make “creepy” friend suggestions, where does it get the other 30 suggestions of people I’ve never met before?

  18. deeeeeeeeeee says:

    I am truly annoyed with this creepy invasion of my privacy. I never authorized facebook to contact anyone in my address book or email history. The other side of this is that my name appears in their address book and they authorized it. If i want to invite someone to facebook, I’ll do it on my own. For Facebook to sift thru email lists which might have my email address and then suggest I might want to connect with this individual is truly invasive and self-serving Facebook’s interest. Shame on you Facebook!!!!!! You are facilitating bad relationships, stalkers all for your own gain.!!! Shame! Shame! Shame! 20/20 might like to know about this one!!!!!!

  19. Ignacio says:

    I felt the same just today. How many old friends appeared in the suggested people. Some of them I wrote them maybe 3 or 4 years ago for the last time, when I didn’t have facebook.
    I didn’t give any permission to my email address book or whatever.
    I was wondering maybe some of them were watching my profile just to have a look, but some others… no way
    Now I’m thinking maybe my email address is in their lists…
    Do they have access to mail logs??
    Maybe they could give us a hint, because this is not normal…
    Thanks for your opinions

  20. Peter says:

    To me it seems FB suggests friends to you who use “find people you email” and have emailed you.

  21. Ignacio says:

    (to Peter)
    yes, but how can they know that I emailed a friend 3 or 4 years ago, when I wasn’t a member of FB? No more contact, really, unless they included me in their address-book and then submitted to FB…

  22. Advance » Blog Archive » Facebook’s transparency challenges says:

    [...] InsiderFacebook.com, a marketing and development forum has this unhelpful quote from Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, Chris Kelly: “We are constantly iterating on the algorithm that we use to determine the Suggestions section of the home page.  We do not share details about the algorithm itself.” [...]

  23. Paul White says:

    My suggestions tool has disappeared from my homepage on Facebook. Do you think this has anything to do with recent concerns?

  24. Creepy Facebook Friend Suggestions | Nick Simard says:

    [...] a little more digging, I came across an interesting site that discusses Facebook’s use of imported contact lists to suggest friends. Shouldn’t Facebook be more explicit in telling users that they use this [...]

  25. Facebook User says:

    I didn’t use the import feature but I’m still getting these creepy suggestions. They appear to be suggesting a person as a friend if YOUR email address is in their contact list when they import.

    Crucially, it appears these people do not have to nominate you as a friend, but their information is still made publically available to everyone they’ve ever emailed or had contact with.

    I would suggest that this is not just a creepy and immoral business practice, but is also illegal under european data protection laws, and possibly their equivalent in other countries. I would encourage everyone who thinks this is a step too far to report Facebook to their local Data Protection Commissioner.

  26. The Future of Media » Blog Archive » Facebook’s transparency challenges says:

    [...] InsiderFacebook.com, a marketing and development forum has this unhelpful quote from Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, Chris Kelly: “We are constantly iterating on the algorithm that we use to determine the Suggestions section of the home page.  We do not share details about the algorithm itself.” [...]

  27. nick says:

    http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=925

    last topic on the page: I do not want Suggestions to find people based on contacts I have imported using the Friend Finder.

    try the link it gives…

  28. Stefano says:

    I have a professional interest in finding out more about this issue (no, I’m neither a cop nor a spook, I’m an information security consultant).

    I used to have an account on Facebook but have since deleted it (not “deactivated” but actually “deleted”, which includes deleting everything, or at least that’s what Facebook states). That was over three months ago.

    Now recently, due to a research project I’m working on, I have needed to find out more about Facebook’s attitude to the privacy. Therefore I have re-opened an account, using a fake identity that gives no hint to my true identity (which I had previously used in my now-dead old FB account).

    I connected to a few trusted friends, and was expecting FB to suggest me connection to mutual friends, most of which are well known to me.

    But what stunned me was when FB suggested to connect to one specific person, whom I knot but with whom I do NOT share ANY common connections, in fact I only e-mail him about twice a year. How could FB infer that I know him?

  29. Michael Bauser says:

    One month later, I noticed something while checking my e-mail setting on Facebook: Facebook added my Gmail address to my account, but with the privacy setting so high (visible to “no one”) that even I didn’t see it on my profile. I know I didn’t put it there, so Facebook must have done it when I used the ‘search Gmail contacts.’

    I think everybody who’s complaining about about getting suggestions to friend people they haven’t contacted in years should check their Facebook account to see what ancient addressees they’ve accidentally added to their profiles by searching their address books.

  30. Erik says:

    I noticed this too! But the creepy thing is that neither me nor the girl I was suggested to have used the function… how can this be? I only have her on MSN, that’s it.

  31. Neal says:

    i find this really creepy too but with all the comments made about how creepy it is..are any of you (or me) deleting your fb acct or doing anything about it?…is there anything we can do? It’s so popular and handy that I think fb banks on everyone overlooking the intrusion (myself included). After reading all these posts and getting mad I say ‘delete it!’ and then think, “everyone will miss me..” and it’s not thaat bad, it’s not like they’re knocking on my door or anything.

  32. Steve Broner says:

    Facebook can’t innovate usefully by making changes only with approval. Even without regard to the content of Facebook’s (current) character this is no more shady than the daily acts of any other “politician”.

    Facebook does not preclude storing information. In consideration (concern?) of this, some people tread lightly on Facebook. No telling what will be done with the information over time, as sensibilities, resources, and even laws change.

    Given the volume of information woven into Facebook, data security might be a most demanding concern.

  33. dew says:

    unbelievable. I just got a suggestion for someone that was never a contact in my contact list. When I graduated I imported the content of my university mail to yahoo mail. I have a directory inside yahoo mail containing all my university e-mail. This girl was CC’d on some of the e-mails I got. It means that facebook keeps the CONTENT of my mail not only contacts. There is no other way that facebook could have find a connection between me and her.
    I feel so stupid for letting them do this. This one mistake several years ago that caused a huge part of my life to be saved on this evil company servers.

  34. deb says:

    The two creepy suggestions Facebook made for me recently were not in my contact list, but they did appear in my Outlook Inbox, from many months ago.

    I didn’t import my contacts or email or anything.

    I rather feel a little invaded. Facebook should NOT be able to access my email without my explicit consent.

    To whom do I complain and how do I get this reversed?

  35. John DXOe says:

    I NEVER gave permission to access my PRIVATE email address, nor to access my Outlook or Eudora address books. Still, friends keep popping up that I haven’t seen for YEARS.

    I think its time for a lawsuit. Invasion of privacy!

  36. pqsk says:

    I have never imported my address book with facebook. I refuse to do much with it, I don’t even have any apps installed. For me this is very creepy

  37. Andy says:

    I got spooked when a guy I met traveling, on a bus near Paraguay, appeared in my friend suggestions.
    Ok, he is on my Gmail list, but so is CustomerService@Virgintrains and I certainly don’t want to be friends with them!

    Algorithm my ass.

  38. Ben says:

    I had some guy I bought a property off 5 years ago appear as a friend suggestion. I don’t have this guys email address, he dosen’t have mine, I have never looked him up on fb and we don’t have any friends in common and we are not on any networks in common. The only thing I can think of is that he has looked me up on fb and is now appearing in my suggested friends list.

  39. Stephen says:

    If FB can get into my e-mail addresses without my permission , can they get into my copies of my tax returns , or other personal information ?

  40. Bucephalus says:

    I never imported my email to facebook but recently I have been getting suggestions for people that I have emailed with in the past, meaning that others have imported their email and I’m getting suggestions for them based purely on that. I did a lot of family history research over 3 years ago and I get lots of suggestions for being friends with elderly people that I casually contacted at some point in the last 5 years. I also had a friend suggestion for someone that I purchased something from on Ebay a few months back. What I don’t understand is that I occasionally see someone on the list who I have between 10-50 friends in common with, but those usually don’t even show up on the suggestions page. Now it is almost always people that I don’t even have any friends in common with and have no interest in friending.

  41. Facebook Contact Importer says:

    That is creepy. I am having the same issue. Something cool and non creepy everyone should check out is Facebook Contact Importer . It’s a really useful tool for facebook users.

  42. » Facebook: The New Email Newsletter? - New England Social Media says:

    [...] does this is a secret they don’t share, but it is based on the friends of your friends (and perhaps your imported contact lists)  A few months ago, the Suggestions box started including Pages that you may want to become a fan [...]

  43. Scared to Death says:

    I am scared to death; I can not shake my enemies. I have to delete all my accounts, social network and email, and stop using the computer. This going online thing was obviously a terrible mistake.

  44. Rob says:

    Hi Guys,
    This concerns me maybe more than you guys. I too saw an old friend show up as a suggestion today. 3 separate times. I only use facebook to communicate with my daughter, use a fake name and particulars, have only 4 friends and “Never” ever uploaded any address book to Facebook. Yet there is this person who they keep suggesting who is from my computer address book who I rarely contact even by email and does not know any of the 4 people in my friends list. Any hints or ideas?

  45. Melvin says:

    I signed up to facebook for the first time ever yesterday. I used a fake name and gave NO details other than an email address. There are 150 people where I work, and 5 of them were suggested as friends. I used an email address I hardly ever use, and I have NEVER emailed 4 of the 5 suggested friends. Very very strange!!!!

  46. margret says:

    that is one real nice way!! i liked it!!

  47. Carol Quinn says:

    Is there a way to stop these friend suggestions from coming up?

    People that I barely know keep coming up in addition to “friends of friends” that I don’t know at all …. I don’t want to keep continually seeing these people pop up. Just feels like perpetual clutter!!

  48. Judith says:

    A friend of mine sent me an e-mail suggesting I join Facebook. At the bottom were pictures of people, some I knew (one of them being my own sister), and most I didn’t know.

    I asked the friend who had sent the e-mail how she knew these people. Her response was that she did not know who any of them were. I asked my sister if she was familiar with the person who had sent me the invitation to join and she said ‘no.’

    Now, somebody tell me how did Facebook get access to my e-mail addresses when I do not even belong to Facebook. And I think all of you who do belong to Facebook should be concerned about how they got into your e-mail addresses.

    What other information do they know about you of which you are unaware. I did not want to be part of Facebook, but I looks as if they have already gotten into my private information!

    I AM VERY, VERY UPSET!

    I am VERY upset and I think all of you Facebook users should be, too.

  49. me says:

    (I regularly get facebook invitations, wich really annoys me, because I don’t want to make an account)

    the people who show up in “other people you might know on facebook” have your emailadress in their contactlist.

    They probably also use that information for your friend suggestions

    Which means that if someone had email contact with you 3 years ago, and s/he lets facebook check their email, that they appear in YOUR suggested list.

    That might give quite unconvenient situations yeah.. :/

  50. rozie says:

    How is it that someone who has not registered with facebook get sent an invitation by a friend to join and come up with two completely unrelated friend suggestions? These two friend suggestions are in no way linked to the invitee so cannot be from imported contact lists – now this I fin really freaky.

  51. Gentile Joe says:

    I have a fairly anonymous Facebook account. To my surprise it suggested two people whom I may know by evidently perusing my EUDORA (caps on purpose) ADDRESS BOOK !

    As far as I’m concerned, this is data trespass and computer fraud and abuse. In other words, Facebook has committed a crime.

  52. Gentile Joe says:

    After cooling off a bit, it is more likely that the two contacts suggested probably let FB read their email accounts, and when I got an invite to my Eudora address by a friend the algorithm matched on that.

    I’ve since told FB to delete my email account via the opt out or whatever.

    Just remember it is not YOUR FB, Yahoo, Flickr – whatever – account when it is spinning on THEIR server.

  53. hubal says:

    It looks like FB hacks into your email account. If you are not logged into your email account FB will ask if you want to import your friends from an email account and will ask for password but if you are already logged into that email account on the same computer somehow FB already knows the password and imports all the email addresses automatically without asking you.

  54. J. M. says:

    OK, a few more specifics for my own creepy experience:
    1. I am NOT an FB user, and never have been. (This makes FB particularly creepy for me.)
    2. I received an FB invitation from my bro-in-law. He sent it to a personal email address that contains my last name but NOT my first name.
    3. FB invited me to sign up and correctly suggested a professional contact who does NOT know my personal address. (And it is extremely unlikely that the 2 people have any mutual contacts, beyond me.) The professional address, OTOH, contains my first name but NOT my last.

    FWIW, all 3 of us are LinkedIn users, and I am connected through LI to both of them. But unless FB is allowed to search LI’s pages (seems unlikely on grounds of competition alone!), where did it get the info about my professional contact, and presumably about my professional email address? And when, exactly, did *I* sign something giving them that right?

  55. kassem says:

    Hi,

    Pls let me know how I will stop the “suggested friends” to come to my FB page,,,, Pls help.thanks

  56. classactioncoming says:

    Time to initiate a class action lawsuit – seems to be the only motivation that an organization like fb will react to…

  57. suefb says:

    suggesting friends to me is not an issue, I’m more concerned about who i have been suggested to!

    I’ve tried to avoid a cyber stalker by changing my facebook email, apparently that doesn’t work. friends linked by my old emails can still see me in their suggestion list, which means so can the stalker!

  58. Flit says:

    Facebook has now set up two ways to stop this happening.

    (i) To tackle e-mail addresses that you have imported (doesn’t stop you being flagged up when your name is in someone else’s contact list)

    http://www.facebook.com/contact_importer/remove_uploads.php

    “Facebook uses the email addresses you upload through the Friend Finder to help you connect with friends, including using this information to generate suggestions for you and your contacts on Facebook. Please click the “Remove” button below if you want Facebook to remove these contacts. Note that it may take some time before your name will be completely removed from suggestions.”

    (ii) To not appear in suggestion lists at all – you have to remove yourself from visibility in all searches

    http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=925#!/help/?faq=12882

  59. Donna says:

    Ok my story is really weird…the person who popped up as a suggestion….has never emailed me, nor I them. We “chatted” on Skype…ONCE!Can they track that too, or is it perhaps just that she was looking for me? This is someone I want nothing to do with!

  60. TommyWillB says:

    What if you simply used the Linked Account feature to leverage your Gmail login, but do NOT use the “find people you email”… Does that still give Facebook access to your Gmail address book and emailing history?

  61. TommyWillB says:

    Facebook absolutely needs to add the feature to “Never show me this suggestion again… EVER! And while you’re at it, erase any link you have of them to me.”

  62. TommyWillB says:

    Also, they need to make it so minors are not able to use either “Linked Accounts” nor “find people you email”.

    This is too confusing for adults. Children shouldn’t ever be connected/suggested to adults unknowingly.

  63. Merry says:

    I too get these type of friend suggestions, but my theory is that FB does not import from my contacts but rather suggests these “friends” because these people have searched or stalked me on FB. None of the suggested friends are in any contact list I have.

    I have a lot of exes that come up, that I have not talked to in YEARS, we have nothing in common as far as FB or IRL for that matter.

    Further, I stalked or looked at an old friend of mine’s page without asking to be her friend. I looked several times, within a few days she sent me a friend request, she said I was suggested to her by FB

  64. kat says:

    I ended up here with google, in latest times i have had two of my husbands exes popping up on my suggestions. He’s not linked to them on FB nor have i ever even emailed or stalked their profiles.

    Creepy, creepy. Should i just assume they been looking at the tiny bit of my profile that is open?

  65. melody says:

    i recently got a friend suggestion from someone i hardly know suggesting that i become friends with a fictional character that had no friends.

    This fictional character was not even on the friend list of the person who was suggesting I become a friend!
    Something very strange!
    How crappy to use this person’s profile to suggest a friend to me that is probably someone who I do not want to associate with!
    I also got a post from another friend that looked like spam.
    Some ‘hot’ video!
    I know my friend would not send me a ‘hot’ video.
    Something’s up and people need to be aware of all the little scams that are out there.

    As someone mentioned before…just because you may look at a profile doesn’t mean you would want to friend that person so you should not have that person suggested to you!

  66. Liz says:

    Today my friends and I have noticed that Facebook is sending “friends suggestions” to our friends *as if* we made the suggestion…but we didn’t. I wonder if this is a fluke in their system, or intentional.

  67. To ban or not to ban Facebook « Idle Curiosities says:

    [...] usually remains silent about its privacy and sharing policies. Read the article here. Here’s another article which is targeted at FB only. One more article (all theories as FB has stayed tight lipped on this [...]

  68. Anon says:

    Facebook is definately breaching Privacy! I just did a little test.. I created a fake email with no contacts using gmail. It had No address book what so ever. Using this email address I set up a fake facebook account this facebook account had no details, no interests, no school info, Then I let this facebook account access the gmail account. With zero connections to work with how did facebook manage to suggest my boyfriend and all of his friends?
    Too all those people who state the following;
    Facebook calculates friend suggestions based on:
    -Emails that you sent or recieved
    -Your email contact list
    -Your friends
    - The school you went to,
    - Your interests,
    - Your job, similar work places
    I have just blown your explainations out of the water.

    I have a feeling the answer to my question is due to the fact that facebook possibly uses spyware. They get their algorithm based on things you have searched or webpages you have visited. It could explain why Facebook won’t “share details about the algorithm itself.”
    It would be like admitting to invading someones privacy…

  69. malvina says:

    when i was editing my account somewhere I saw request to suggest friends – I unchecked it – but they still appear.
    Does anyone know how to stop them suggesting friends altogether?

  70. Stella says:

    When I signed up for a new fb account, I was kinda shocked when I saw this guy I knew 2 years ago in the Step 1 of my facebook sign up. I have no information including friends in this account ‘coz its Step 1 and its suggesting me if I knew this person. He’s not even in my email contact list or a mutual friend of one of my friends. I never even emailed him. Is it possible he searched me using my email before I signed up?

  71. bruceb consulting – news » FACEBOOK FRIEND SUGGESTIONS – HOW DOES IT KNOW? says:

    [...] any official confirmation of that – Facebook is very tight-lipped about its algorithms – but here’s an entry on the “Inside Facebook” blog reaching that conclusion last year, and here’s a random blogger coming to the same conclusion. It [...]

  72. Anon says:

    The MOST disturbing aspect of this is that FACEBOOK IS MAKING A FRIENDS PROFILE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER SIGNED UP TO FACEBOOK and never intend to. Face book could then choose to share that friends list with facebook users or publish it to search engines without the non facebook user EVER KNOWING OR CONSENTING. The most horrible part of this is that it will probably be legal to do so because the email addresses were obtained from consenting Facebook users.

    So as a non-consenting non facebook user what am I supposed to do to protect my privacy? Write to every single person I have ever emailed and tell them not to share my email address with facebook because it is building a friends profile of me? Facebook has really outdone itself this time.

  73. concernednonuser says:

    A big concern…

    Although I do not have a Facebook page, I just received an invite from someone to join their Facebook page on my Yahoo account. Below the invitation were “suggested friends”. Most are people that the invitor would never know but are people I have emailed from that Yahoo account — some of them years ago.

    Again, I do not have a Facebook page, have never signed on and yet Facebook seems to have invaded my Yahoo account and scanned my email because someone sent me an invitation. Most of these “suggested friends” are not even contacts or in my address book.

    Can anyone offer me another explanation of what happened? If not, this is a real invasion of privacy!

  74. Sqat says:

    I recently signed for Facebook. I reviewed every line, and in no ways did I ask Facbook to import or suggest friend from my yahoo mail.
    Every other day, I am receiving suggestions for friends from Facebook on people that are in my yahoo contacts. Absolutely crazy that such privacy invasion is being allowed. Privacy laws seem to be by-passed under the guise that “you” permitted Facebook, though, I know for sure I did not ask nor permit Facebook to access my contacts in yahoo. Something is telling Facebook is now in bed with Big Brother.

  75. rb says:

    FB is using your IP to root out your address book from the real account on the same computer. I set up an undercover profile for investigations. Not a single person was in my contact list for the undercover FB or new email acct. In about 3 weeks I started to see friends and relatives being “suggested” by Facebook. There was absolutely no way FB or I knew of these. It was a pure clean new FB account. FB has to know the IP of your computer and knows you log into your real FB account from the same computer. I am totally shocked. I should have known better and used a “clean” computer.

  76. sm says:

    I just received an invitation to join facebook from a friend that contained email addresses and names of people I know DO NOT have a facebook account. Some of these people’s addresses and addresses of their picture albums are only within the bodies in my personal email in my Yahoo account, not just in the address blocks. I do not have and have never had a facebook account. My first thought was that somehow the facebook the invitation page mined all my Yahoo email and manufactured a list of suggested friends, but that is too creepy to even think about and is probably illegal unless Yahoo opened up it’s doors. But anything seem possible with these creeps. I agree with many that facebook has gone rogue and is out to expose everyone and anything to the world to make more money.

  77. Lee says:

    it seems Facebook can read your contact list without ever importing it. I’ve recently noticed a few old names popping up on the ‘people you may know’ list, names that should in no way be connected to me unless someone actually looked at my hotmail contact list, seeing as that list has never been imported into facebook I don’t see how they could have done it….lawfully.

  78. Josh Constine says:

    @Lee: You may have appeared on someone else’s imported contact list.

  79. wolf62 says:

    They read your mails contacts !

  80. upset says:

    don’t like this. i cut out all friends down to 3. there is no relation to those who they are suggesting. i did not use any email feature in facebook nor did i give it permission, to access my contact list. this “feature” was never explained. i find it underhanded and an invasion of privacy. i see my email and facebook are mutually exclusive and I would rather it give me the option instead of just hijacking all my information.

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