An Eerie New Project Shows How Much Facebook Really Knows About You

The news: Did you think that all those privacy restrictions would keep your Facebook data safe? Think again.

A new, eerie web project called Digital Shadow combs through your Facebook profile and pulls together enough of your information to create a dossier creepy enough to make you want to quit social networking altogether. 

Once you login and grant the site access to your Facebook profile, the system simulates a hacker attack and creates a list of "pawns" (friends who can betray you), "obsessions" (people you creep on the most) and "scapegoats" (people you would be willing to sacrifice), as well as photos of your favorite places and an analysis of your posting habits.


Image Credit: Digital Shadow

There's more. Pulling together your education and information history, the website takes a crack at guessing your salary level and net worth. Additionally, based on your interests and activity, the site can generate a list of potential passwords, your personality and your likely locations.



Image Credit: Digital Shadow

Why is this so bad? Though Digital Shadow can only work with the information you and your friends post online, the experiment reveals just how much information is really out there — probably way more than you think. Every time you click on someone's Facebook profile or "like" a page, you're putting another piece of data on the Internet. And in the wrong hands, that data can be used against you.

And as this infographic points, we're uploading a shocking amount of data to the Internet every minute of every day. 


Image Credit: Domo via Mashable

Not only that, but until now, most people have generally been in control of the social data that was uploaded to the Internet (besides, for example, an uncontrollable friend's post or tweet). But as Millenials start having children, there's an alarmingly growing trend of posting pictures of children to Facebook and other social media outlets. That potentially means that your entire life could be online in one form or another. Just imagine what an angry hacker could do with all that information. 

Should you worry? Luckily the program isn't real. It was developed by video game developer Ubisoft to promote an upcoming spy gamed called Watch Dogs. But that doesn't change the fact that the information who see through this website is real and it's out there. 

Watch the hair-raising trailer below:


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Eileen Shim

Eileen is a writer living in New York. She studied comparative literature and international studies at Yale University, and enjoys writing about the intersection of culture and politics.

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