All it took was an article from our sister website Thinq and a Ruby script to set the world alight and cause panic amongst news outlets over a potential breach of privacy.
What many failed to notice though is that the whole dataset was and is still public; it's just that a single individual had the great idea of putting everything together in a single massive file and make it available on bit-torrent.
Ironically, the files were uploaded by a security researcher who siphoned data from Facebook's user directory and destined to be use for a security project aimed at providing with a database for password testing applications.
The problem here of course is that most people do not know what information Facebook has made public on them. As Facebook put it succinctly, no private data is available or has been compromised.
But there's worse to come as sooner or later someone will implement a way of combining public information from various sources on a single individual to deliver a "holy grail" solution for marketers and people with darker intentions.
Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Linked In have public feeds available and combined with the likes of Gowalla or Foursquare and aggregators like 123people will deliver more information about a particular people than ever before.