Your public Facebook status updates? Now publicly searchable outside Facebook

While the debate rages on about Facebook’s attitude to privacy, and in particular the views of Mark Zuckerberg, the current situation is that an awful lot of people make their status updates public, whether they realise the full implications or not. A stark reminder of this comes today in the form of a new search engine thrown together by two developers.

FacebookSearch simply takes those public status updates and makes them searchable, outside of Facebook. The guys behind it, Peter Burns and Will Moffat, have posted a simple explanation: “This is a simple example of just how open facebook has made your information. This data is wide open, and this is one of the least scary uses that anyone will make. If nothing changes, it’s only to get worse.” There’s an interesting discussion over at Hacker News on the morality of what they are doing.

The site defaults to search on the term “playing hooky” but other suggestions include: don’t tell anyone, rectal exam, stupid boss, HIV test and control urges.

The site goes on to tell users how to Delete their Facebook account or Fix their privacy settings

Now of course, people can Tweet equally about playing hooky from work on Twitter, although I’d say generally that’s considered a public platform, when Facebook has for a long time been promoted as more privacy driven.

No doubt FacebookSearch will fuel the debate about how much of our lives we make public and how we control what we say online.