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Facebook Data Harvester Explains Motive

Posted on Jul 29, 2010

A man who used a piece of code to scan 100 million Facebook users’ publicly available information and then shared it on the Net as a file gave an interview to try to explain his motives for what some are calling an “ethical attack” on privacy.

BBC:

The man who harvested and published the personal details of 100m Facebook users has spoken out about his motives.

Ron Bowes, a security consultant, used a piece of code to scan Facebook profiles, collecting data not hidden by the user’s privacy settings.

The list, which contains the URL of every searchable Facebook user’s profile, name and unique ID, has been shared as a downloadable file.

Mr Bowes told BBC News that he did it as part of his work on a security tool.

“I’m a developer for the Nmap Security Scanner and one of our recent tools is called Ncrack,” he said.

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