Facebook's "People You May Know" Feature

From Privacy Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Facebook's "People You May Know" Feature
Short Title Facebook Users Have No Control Over "People You May Know" Feature on Facebook
Location Global
Date November 2017

Solove Harm Surveillance, Insecurity, Increased Accessibility, Appropriation, Intrusion, Aggregation
Information Identifying, Contact, Demographic, Social Network, Location
Threat Actors Facebook

Affected Facebook Users
High Risk Groups Children, Elderly
Tangible Harms Loss of Trust, Inconvenience, Anxiety

Facebook's "People you may know" feature works through data aggregation and data subjects have no control of what data Facebook has about them or how it is processed.


Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now. Facebook has large amounts of personal information about users, and that data goes way beyond the information, that users fill in themselves. Facebook not only analyzes the profile information, but also their behavior. Surveillance The algorithm aggregates as much data as it can to figure out further connection between people.

If a user agrees to share their contacts, every piece of contact data they possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone this user knows, no matter how slightly—and this user won’t see it happen.Increased Accessibility

Another privacy violation that is often identified in the context of "People You May Know" feature is Intrusion. E.g. a man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, sees the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook.

Laws and Regulations