Facebook Fraught with Spying Parents, Product Placement

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:17 PM PDT
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Facebook Fraught with Spying Parents, Product Placement

AP

Social-networking site Facebook is headquartered in Palo Alto.

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Facebook's about more than just friends, new reports indicate. It's also about spying, whether by parents or by corporations.

A new survey shows that parents frequently use the site to monitor their children. Some go so far as to steal their kids' login credentials. Even though most survey respondents indicated that they were comfortable with the site's privacy, the vast majority of adults regularly check in on their kids online. Some parents even want the ability to edit their kids' profiles. Particularly at risk for such monitoring are younger teens and girls.

Most teens are friends with their parents on the site, and many even helped get their parents' profiles set up.

Many respondents felt that the website allows users to specify too much information, such as phone numbers, current physical location and address.

And parents aren't the only ones keeping a close eye on Facebook users. A Firefox developer recently raised the possibility that advertisers might introduce their products into users' photographs after they are posted. Speaking about the unreliability of human memory, the developer warned that advertisers could plant false memories in Facebook users by suggesting that their product was present in situations where it actually wasn't.

Whether it's prying adults or manipulative sponsors, Facebook just keeps finding new ways to up the creepiness.

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