Just so everyone knows – Just because you opt out of the Nearby Friends function in both Android and iPhone apps that does not mean you aren’t being tracked and your data is being sold, scoured and used both for good and for bad. FaceBook, just like Google, has agreements to sell your data (All your data) both to companies and to the US government (CIA, NSA, FBI and the IRS among other organizations). Just Google NSA data collection or FaceBook data use by NSA – you will see thousands of articles, news commentaries and more on what is really going on with your data.
What this means is that every time you login to FaceBook, search on Google, send an email, etc. they (the NSA data collectors, FaceBook, etc…) have your location to within 100 ft (the feds get that good of a fix on your last use, versus you get .5 miles if you turn on Nearby Friends) and it doesn’t matter if you are in Mexico, Canada, or anywhere for that matter. The feds have used this to catch thousands of felons and criminals that are stupid enough to use and post on social sites like FaceBook and others (uhm, you know the cops, feds, etc. are watching you – right? It’s not just prospective employers anymore and HR departments). The NSA uses this to actively track political opponents for high up officials in Washington and anyone they perceive as a threat.
You must assume that all your data is being recorded every time you login, every time you post and from every location you post. It just boggles my mind that most people (over 99.99%) don’t know this. And those bad data breaches that occur (think Home Depot, Target, IRS, NASA, Dept. of Energy)? You think it’s a simple mistake? More often than not, it’s that the hackers found a government required backdoor – they just won’t tell you that. They then close that backdoor and open a new one without telling you anything – the government loves these doorways into your data and lives too much to ever let them go. The NSA records this data on everyone (citizen or not) at their new trillion dollar NSA data collection center.
This is not to say don’t use FaceBook or Google+, Reddit, etc.., instead, it’s just a wake-up call. And, it doesn’t matter how you login (anonymous, public libraries, OPC (other people’s computers), encrypted connections, etc…) they’ve got you once you login to your social account – this is why the government loves FaceBook and Google so much and why they have spent trillions of taxpayer dollars on new data centers to harvest this data.
Edward Snowden did a lot to bring this misuse of US citizen data to light. More needs to be done. I am just making you aware of the fact that this occurs every time you use a social site – Nearby Friends or not. You may not get or see the data, but be sure that others are recording everything you do, say, see and your whereabouts. And, the scariest part is sometimes its not just the US government that has all this data – other governments are jumping on the Big Data bandwagon and harvesting this same data too. China requires this of large social networks. So does Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany and more.
Just be smart. As long as you know this and are okay with it, then keep on doing what you are doing. It’s those that don’t know that I am writing this for.