Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) – a top stock play among hedge funds we track – has been about sharing and communicating people from all over the world, and apparently through some research, it has been determined that it’s very possible that not only could strangers around the world learn your name and where you live, but could also find out things about you that only your closest friends and family would know. The research study, conducted by researchers at Cambridge University in England, has found some tendencies that Facebook users who utilize the “like” button can tend to leave cyber-fingerprints that reveal a lot about our personalities and character.
Based on researching the “likes” of about 58,000 Facebook inc. (NASDAQ:FB) users who allowed the researchers to track and analyze their likes, the Cambridge University team found some uncanny predictors with “likes” and learning some things about many of the people who “liked” pages, profiles and posts. It turns out, the researchers were able to predict, based solely on “likes” from these users and knowing no information otherwise: gender (male vs. female) with 93 percent accuracy; race (white vs. black) at 95 percent; sexual orientation, with gay 88 percent accurately and lesbian 75 percent; political affiliation (Democrat vs. GOP) with 85 percent accuracy; and religion Christian vs. Muslim) 82 percent of the time.
Michal Kosinski, the lead researcher of this study, said that this study seems to indicate how easy that users of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) can reveal so much ab out themselves to others, including advertisers and marketers and gave his own warning about the ramifications. “People should be aware that whatever they do online can be used to infer traits and personality aspects way beyond what they believe it can be used for. [Our research] shows this can happen.”
And Lillie Coney of the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, says this demonstrates how important users should take their privacy and be vigilant about it. “The biggest problem for consumers is that they don’t know when they click to think three or four steps ahead about how that information could potentially be used,” she said.
What do you think about this study? Will the results of this study affect user interaction with Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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