More information from BNet:
The concept is to use degrees of separation between people to control whether one social network user can retrieve information about a second. If there is a close enough relationship between them (in Facebook terms, think of the difference between friends and friends of friends), then the first user gets the information. Too great a degree of separation, and the request is denied.
This might seem a ridiculous patent. After all, what social network doesn’t in some form allow users to obtain information about each other based on the relationship between them?