Private Facebook profiles aren’t quite as hidden as many users might think they are. Pages that are supposedly restricted are visible to anyone using searches based on religion, sexual orientation or relationship status.
Security researcher Christopher Soghoian announced the flaw on Tuesday. A quick search by Wired News for women in a major U.S. city who were interested in random hookups with men revealed the names and photos of two high school girls, including one ninth grader.
Like many social networks, the increasingly popular Facebook allows its users to mark their profile page as private, semiprivate or open. However, even if you mark your profile to be visible only by friends, that doesn’t change how you turn up in Facebook searches or whether your profile is open to indexing by search engines. (more. . .)