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Facebook Timestamps Allows Users To Track Sleep Patterns


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Nowadays it’s not just the real-life stalkers that you need to be aware of – it’s also the internet that allows people to know some of the most private information about you, such as your sleeping schedule.

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If a friend told you 10 years ago that he knows when you go to sleep and when you wake up, you’d probably suspect he spent some nights across the street from your bedroom window with some donuts and binoculars.

Now, the truth is far more terrifying. Physical stalking can be replaced with a less visible but equally intrusive method: anyone can simply download this source code from GitHub and compile a chart of your sleeping habits with your Facebook usage data as their only source.

However, Danish software developer Søren Louv-Jansen wasn’t trying to spy on his friends when he created this piece of software. He was thinking more in terms of allowing Facebook users to track their own sleep patterns simply based on their Facebook Messenger usage.

For those unfamiliar with activity timestamps, they are the markers used by Facebook for every time to you log in the morning and “like” an article or send a message.

Louv-Jansen simply put together a piece of software that gathers all the timestamps from both Facebook and Messenger which allowed him to get a pretty accurate chart of his sleep patterns.

But software developer from Denmark took it a step further, diving into the controversial problem of how much digital footprint each of us leaves behind without even being aware of it.

Louv-Jansen thinks that Facebook uses this data to profile users or for ad targeting. And even though the social network decides to block this little “hack” so users can no longer track their friends, Facebook will still be able to do their own data analysis.

While the tool developed by Louv-Jansen only works for frequent users, there are plenty of those who have made a habit out of checking Facebook in the morning and before they go to bed at night.

According to a IDC Research report from April 2013, roughly 80 percent of active Facebook users check their News Feed and notifications within 15 minutes of waking up.

After publishing the source code for his tool on GitHub, Louv-Jansen said that Facebook isn’t very happy about it. The developer said the company “asked him to discourage others from using his software,” but over 1,000 people have already downloaded the code.
Image Source: Roscoelilly


About David Mayor

david@thenextdigit.com'
Writer and editor of The Next Digit Media, he takes care of iOS, Apple, Mac and other gadgets. He worked at Apple Inc, before joining to TND Media. He was graduated in Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication Degree from Cambridge University. All posts by David

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