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The Boston Globe

Business

Tech Lab

With new Facebook search, there’s nowhere to hide

Gun owners in New York State recently freaked when a local newspaper published their names and addresses online. It’s all public information, the ­paper declared. But never before had the data been made so available, critics replied. Perhaps the paper had made public information too public?

Which brings us to Facebook and its fun, fascinating, and worrisome new search service. Currently available only to a relative handful of Facebook’s billion registered ­users, the new service lets you quickly find out quite a bit about your Facebook friends, or complete strangers. It’s stuff you could find already, with diligent research, but soon it will take a few keystrokes, not unlike how the New York newspaper made the names of gun owners so easily available.

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