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Program Allows You to See Friends' Sleep Patterns Through Facebook

I can honestly say that I've never wanted to find out how much my friends sleep, but that's partially because I know it won’t have been for long and because when it comes to weekends they'd be able to judge me just as hard.

If you are however interested in how much your friends sleep and they use Facebook a lot then you can now find out their sleep patterns. Since Facebook launched a web version of their Messenger client, people have been able to see when users were last active. This means that Facebook are keeping an eye on when users are accessing their services. That makes sense but what doesn't make sense is how easy it is to access this data. Søren Louv-Jansen managed to dig into the code and found ID and time stamps for users’ activity. Now admittedly they're not obvious or easy to read and they don't have the names and dates in plain English but with the right knowledge you can turn them into something you understand. The program Louv-Jansen developed looks at this code every ten minutes and updates the chart with when a user is active and when they aren't. When the user last accessed Facebook the night/morning before and when they next use it during an extended period of time can show how long a person then slept. Now it's possibly worth noting that you could also have long gaps of time where a user is working. I work for six hours plus my lunch break, I'm not signed into the office wifi and the data connection around here is so bad that I don't even have it turned on during the work hours. So even if I used Facebook Messenger, you could then have a long gap where it looks like I'm sleeping, something that might match the pattern of someone who was online all night and didn't fall asleep until 7am which is why they wind up in bed until 4pm. Which unless you have some sort of night work or deadline, people will seriously judge you for.

You might be wondering why you can work this out through Facebook. Well the fact is that most people have Facebook or Messenger now and it tends to be the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing at night. Even if you don’t use either of those services, you can bet that there’s a service out there you do check like that. For me it’s Tumblr, for someone else it might be Twitter or they might prefer Line or Kik to using Messenger. Either way, Facebook is still more widely used and for a lot of people, this little program can reveal a lot of data.

The code is available on GitHub for now though Facebook aren't happy with it being on there. At least 1000 people have downloaded the code already and Facebook are considering this an invasion of user privacy. Which, it kind of is, but in a way most people wouldn't usually care about. The developer refuses to remove the coding from GitHub because one of the reasons he built the program was to highlight how easy it is to gain data from Facebook. This data could be used to help case people's homes for robberies etc because you can work out when someone will be asleep or at work by assessing their patterns. Facebook need to take this as a sign to improve their encryption if they're really worried about their users’ data.

You can see how the program works below:

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF

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Program Allows You to See Friends' Sleep Patterns Through Facebook Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, March 02, 2016 Rating: 5

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