Are you a stalker? Then you will love this new extension designed for Google Chrome which lets you track the movements of your friends on Facebook. Actually, the extension is not even needed because Messenger does the job all by itself.
So the NSA need not worry about the possibility of the Patriot Act not being renewed today. It can just use Facebook to spy on people.
This is what the developer of the extension, which was inspired by the magical map from the Harry Potter books and works with people who use Facebook Messenger, has proven. It is the brainchild of Aran Khanna, a student developer in Cambridge, Mass.
He said, “This Chrome Extension was written to accompany my Medium post about the creepy potential of the location data we often inadvertently reveal about ourselves on Facebook Messenger.”
Well due to the backlash, Khanna was forced to alter the extension. He posted on its web page: “At Facebook’s request I have again deactivated the *official* version of the extension. Furthermore, Facebook has deactivated location sharing from the desktop webpage so the extension will not work. However, it seems locations are still being shared on the mobile app and sharing is still enabled by default.”
But he has explained more about the problem posed by Facebook Messenger in a posting on Medium.com. Khanna pointed out that without knowing it, users reveal their exact location every time that they send a text with Facebook Messenger. The app defaults to sending out locations with every message.
He wrote that, “the first thing I noticed when I started to write my code was that the latitude and longitude coordinates of the message locations have more than 5 decimal places of precision, making it possible to pinpoint the sender’s location to less than a meter.”
“The main problem is that every time you open your phone and send a single message it’s so easy to forget about your location data being attached to it. Furthermore, it seems so harmless to attach a location with a single message, but the problem is, over time the information from these messages adds up.”
So if you do not wish to be found by stalkers, debt collectors or angry ex-wives, then you may wish to dump Messenger all together.