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March 11, 2013

Facebook "like" behavior an accurate predictor [Purp]

So you got a tight fake Facebook identity -- good. But is that fake account really protecting you as much as you think it does? Apparently not if you're one of those people addicted to hitting that "like" button.

...This study demonstrates the degree to which relatively basic digital records of human behavior can be used to automatically and accurately estimate a wide range of personal attributes that people would typically assume to be private...
So what can they predict with some measure of confidence?


...The highest accuracy was achieved for ethnic origin and gender. African Americans and Caucasian Americans were correctly classified in 95% of cases, and males and females were correctly classified in 93% of cases, suggesting that patterns of online behavior as expressed by Likes significantly differ between those groups allowing for nearly perfect classification. Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82%of cases, and similar results were achieved for Democrats and Republicans (85%). Sexual orientation was easier to distinguish among males (88%) than females (75%) , which may suggest a wider behavioral divide (as observed from online behavior) between hetero- and homosexual males...
Now for the kicker...
"...given appropriate training data, it may be
possible to reveal other attributes as well..."

I'll leave it as an exercise for you to imagine what kind of "other attributes" could be divined from the government mining this data. Damned few are gonna involve targeted ads trying to sell you Hello Kitty socks, THAT you can bank on.

The whole research paper is worth reading. My creep-factor meter was pegged at 11.

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posted by Open Blogger at 07:18 PM

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