A book about you is being written if you are a member of FaceBook or other social on-line meeting groups. The book not only includes what you have disclosed about yourself, but what others have said about you. The attractive applications, games, puzzles or whatever developers wish to call them are mostly engineered to ferret out information about you, your preferences, lifestyle and habits. The sharing of that information in a network outside our purview is what FaceBook and others are doing to make billions of dollars, in essence, cashing in on the details of your life shared over months of on line activity.
Opinion: While the commercialization of this data is food for thought, the bigger issue is what you may be doing to erode fourth amendment rights guaranteed you in the Bill Of Rights. Lest you forget, it reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." That's the government speaking about how it can conduct investigations. But what about information freely obtained through a third party or open to "public" inspection. Public is in quotes because millions of FaceBook viewers have access to much of that data even if the investigator does not.
FaceBook and other social sites are likely fraying the fabric of the fourth amendment by asking for and encouraging disclosure of information you would likely not want in one document for a litigator or prosecutor to see should you become at odds with the law or entangled in a civil suit. Yet, there you are, freely divulging precious secrets about your daily life, all for the cheap satisfaction of using a free service to chat up your friends or play mindless games.
What is the first action a news organization takes when your name comes across in a story of interest? You should have guessed. It Googles your name to see what can be learned about you. It sure beats going out and interviewing a lot of people, many of which they have no way of contacting. On FaceBook you have given them a prepared list of your friends and acquaintances along with a journal of your activity so that they can draw their own conclusions about your life.
So go ahead, keep trading vast parts of your life for the free use of that attractive nuisance software and remember that you are helping to chip away at your fourth amendment rights and the rights of your friends who have shared information with you. It's all in a for-profit corporate database and many of you will pay dearly for that which you have given away.