Facebook is the hottest destination for social
networking online. However, users need to be aware of a new feature Facebook implemented
last Friday that will allow applications access to your phone number and your
The new feature requires the user to specifically
give applications the ability to access
the address and mobile phone number information,
but many Facebook users fear rogue apps will gain access to the information and
use it for reasons other than what they expect. The new feature shows up on the
Request for Permission window that pops up and it has a new area that says,
"Access my contact information."
If you choose “Allow”, you will let the apps
access key privacy information. On the legitimate developer side, the
information can be used to allow the user to buy things and have them shipped
without having to type in their address for example. However, the downside is
that a rogue app could possibly get the details and sell them to marketing
companies meaning more junk mail in your real mailbox and sales calls on your
Facebook's Jeff Bower wrote on the Facebook Dev
Blog, "We are now making a user's address and mobile phone number accessible
as part of the User Graph object. Because this is sensitive information, we
have created the new user_address and user_mobile_phone permissions. These
permissions must be explicitly granted to your application by the user via our
standard permissions dialogs."
Facebook users posted comments to the developer
blog such as "Before you even consider implementing this very intrusive
feature, Facebook needs to stop the scammers from making rogue applications and
Graham Cluley from Sophos is calling for Facebook
users to remove their physical address and phone number from the social
Facebook continues to grow at a very fast pace.
The company had the most
visits of any website for October-November 2010. In addition, The Social Network, a movie about the
origins of Facebook, received
four Golden Globe awards last night.
quote: "It's against all of our policies for an app to ever share information. We shut them down if they do... Do we get it right all the time? No. But it's something we take seriously and every day we come to work and try to do a good job on this... It's an important thing for everyone to think about - privacy and making sure we have control of our information is one of the fundamental things on the internet."
quote: Either way, your private info is screwed
quote: Its not "private" information if you type it into facebook.