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Print 15 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Jan 18 at 11:02 AM


Facebook RFP window with new feature  (Source: The Atlantic)
Users fear rogue apps will steal their personal informaiton

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 physical address.

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 mobile.

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 scamming people."

Graham Cluley from Sophos is calling for Facebook users to remove their physical address and phone number from the social network.

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.



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By The Raven on 1/18/2011 11:02:40 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't say it was a move to protect privacy. FB would be non-existant if people didn't WANT publicity. Why should anyone see them as a company concerned with privacy in the first place? Yes they want to make it secure so that people will trust them with their info, but that is the person's choice. I mean for someone out there (certainly not me ;-) sharing your email and phone number via FB apps might be valuable. I am just saying that it is nice to have that option if you are a FB user. For those people who want that feature, hearing that they can't use it is like the average user hearing that they can't use FB at all. If you want it, you want it. And FB's job is to give users what they want. What they want is publicity. The uses also want security, and they will always have that option if they choose not to compromise that on their own.


"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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