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Facebook shows it all with no CD involved

Facebook's advertising application (opens in new tab) allows anyone who cares to register to explore its audience for free and without strings attached.

By altering eight possible variables from location to political views, anyone interested can get an approximate figure of the average Facebooker.

For example, out of the 7.24 m Facebook members in UK, 10000 have openly declared themselves as being a Conservative Single female aged between 18 and 20.

Although not as dramatic as the HRMC losing a pair of CDs containing sensitive data, it does show that Facebook collects a hell lot of information on its users.

It is also particularly interesting to find out that a substantial proportion of the social network website user base choose not to reveal much about themselves.

For example, nearly 22% of the UK users have decided not to tell Facebook about their gender although one cannot lie about their country location.

Blogger Paul Francis (opens in new tab) is actually the one who came up with the idea of gathering data.

Whether others like Google or Microsoft will follow suit remains to be seen.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.