Paranoia – World Bank Edition

So I’m the type who sends a message to the World Bank asking for clarification on some economic data. Go to the Support page, click “Ask A Question” and fill out three fields in a pop-up window: Subject, Inquiry, Email Address. Click Send.

I get an email response pretty rapidly. It is addressed to me. By name. In fact, the form of the name is specific to a Facebook account that is associated with the email address I provided.

I was not signed in to Facebook at the time.

I did politely ask how they knew my name and Leila at the World Bank responded “Your name showed up as that on our screen, not sure how it is populated”

Either my browser is passing Facebook identifiers along with environment variables (which their customer service system parses for more personalized responses) or they’ve got some software that maps email addresses to Facebook names – maybe it’s a product out there.


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One Response to Paranoia – World Bank Edition

  1. I think the Facebook API can allow access to publically shared data without too much effort. At least, it used to…

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