A rather interesting paper published November 2012.
Everything you do online is probably being hacked/surveilled by your government. This includes, activities on Facebook or any social networking sites, Skype conversations, chatting, texting from your mobile phone, anything that is stored or transmitted digitally.
Companies are now selling, and they are selling hot in all countries, of-the-shelf hacking and surveillance products to governments… all in the name of national security. These tools have been used by middle-east during unrest earlier this year. There was a secret conference held in Dubai earlier this year that was not open to the public, and reporters were not welcome to attend sessions. Read more here.
In this article, it was been reported that computer scientists were able to de-anonymize supposedly anonymous data and re-identify individuals. This, however, is not entirely new. De-anonymisation has been conducted successfully in 2006 when AOL released the search logs of over a half million of their users (here) and in 2009 by researchers in social networks (here). Stripping personal identifiable information such as usernames from data sets is an insufficient step in the anonymizing process.
Potential draftees (and employees) are being screened by Face Book ‘ghosts’ to gain access to personal information
It is also used by recruitment agencies, insurance companies even law enforcement.