Algorithmic analysis of what you have “liked” gives everything away—your IQ, personality traits, drug usage, and even whether your parents divorced during your childhood, the Washington Post reports:
A Cambridge University study published Monday shows off how the researchers were able to figure out personal traits of individuals based on what 58,000 Facebook users decided to “like” on sites around the Web.
The researchers found that they could, for example, correctly distinguish between gay and straight men on the site 88 percent of the time by analyzing the TV shows and movies they liked. Similarly, they could differentiate between drug users and non-drug users with about 65 percent accuracy based on their expressed public preferences. The study even included “like” predictors that could tell whether users’ parents had separated when they were young versus whether they had not.
Researcher [said] that they hope this raises users’ awareness about the kind of information they may not realize they’re sharing with a wider audience.
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