Privacy Concerns Raised About Facebook Gifts Service

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Several security and privacy experts have raised concerns about Facebook's recently-announced Facebook Gifts service, which enables users to send gifts to others via the social network.

"Facebook takes a cut of the value of each gift sent, giving the company another much-needed revenue stream -- and one which works just as well on mobile devices," writes TG Daily's Emma Woollacott. "It also means that the company will be able to harvest millions of real-world addresses -- something that will please marketers, if not privacy campaigners."

"According to a 2011 survey performed in the U.K., 4 out of 5 ex-burglars believe that thieves are targeting homes using information gathered from social media websites," writes Computerworld's Lucian Constantin. "In addition, stolen home addresses can also be used to craft more believable email-based scams. For example, parcel delivery emails that try to trick users into clicking on malicious links or opening malicious attachments are a common occurrence. Including the target's home address in such a message would likely increase the attacker's chance of success."

According to Constantin, Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender, said, "The amount of private data users are sharing on social networking sites already exceeds all security precautions. Making it so much easier for the user to add a number of addresses they can receive parcels at (including probably work or school addresses) would make it even easier for real-life criminals to gather information about a potential victim."