Turns out that I've been posting in the 'Public' setting for some time now. This means whatever I post, anyone on Facebook can see. And anyone with an email address can sign up on Facebook. It does NOT mean anyone on the internet can see your posts, but a simple registration to the Book is all it takes.
I quickly created a new Facebook account and checked out my profile. Sure enough, all the public posts I have made are visible, and turns out I've made a lot of public posts. I browsed around on Facebook and could see my wife's profile in full, and lots of other folks.
All it takes is a short script to start mining this information.
I think this new privacy setting rolled out when they added the Subscriber model, but in my humble opinion they should have defaulted the setting to Friends. This new account I created was set to Public from the get go. And I noticed the app on my phone is also set to Public.
This is probably not how you intended to use Facebook.
To fix this, make sure you are marking your posts Friends only in the status update box. Make sure you do this for your mobile/tablet apps as well.
Then go to your privacy settings and make all of your Public posts Friends only
Go to Arrow drop down in header -> Privacy Settings
I can understand Facebooks intention of making your posts Public by default. If posts were public think of the power of Facebook Search, especially during a crisis like Sandy or a major public event like the election. It would change the way we look for information. It is also the product they need to really grow as a company. And just think of what it would do for the stock.
Here's an idea:
1) Buy lots of Fb at $20~
2) Make all posts Public
Dev/Code/Hack is a technology and business blog by me, Par Trivedi. I'm a software engineer and I've been writing code and managing teams for over a decade. This blog serves as a way to share thoughts and ideas about the tech/startup community, and also to educate newcomers to software development.