Sorry for the long title, just had to get all the important words in there 😉
I am not sure what it is, a glitch, a security hole, privacy issue, common sense, but here is what happened:
Back when the Facebook iPhone app was update to contain push notification and sync I did just that: Sync my phone book contacts with the Facebook iPhone Apps contact list. Today I received a phone call from my uncle on my iPhone. Next to his name was a small picture. I didn’t know the picture but recognized him well enough. Also recognizable were the “widescreen” black strips on top and on the bottom which seems universal to all the synced pictures. There was my clue. The picture must have come from his Facebook page.
However, here is the kicker: I didn’t even know he was on Facebook. And he certainly wasn’t a Facebook friend.
So how did the picture get into my contacts when we weren’t even friends? I looked at some of the early coverage but nobody seems to have noticed this yet. What does it mean? That the Facebook app syncs via cell phone numbers against ALL Facebook members? Without checking the subset of actual Friends? Wouldn’t that be, well, a privacy issue?