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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Why you can't trust FB with naked pictures
By The Raven on 1/17/2011 11:17:06 AM , Rating: 1
"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."

I just posted this quote defending FB in a way. But this shows how you can't just set it and forget it like a magical device crafted by Ron Popeil.

But I must commend FB for giving people the option to share that info if they want in spite of the anti-FB movement. The problem lies in the implementation of that freedom. Yes there are safeguards, but can you trust FB with your info? I won't, unless a) it is needed and b) it is proven reasonably safe.

People really need to learn to stop putting private stuff on the Internet.

RE: Why you can't trust FB with naked pictures
By Solandri on 1/17/2011 12:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really see that as FB acting to protect your privacy. I see it as FB acting to protect their business.

What are app companies going to do with your private info? Use it for marketing.
What does Facebook do with your private info? Use it for marketing.

Either way, your private info is screwed; it's just a question of who is doing the screwing. FB and the app companies are competitors here (on an uneven playing field, but still competitors). "Protecting" their users' privacy is a self-serving move which they're spinning as doing for the users' sake.

RE: Why you can't trust FB with naked pictures
By Suntan on 1/17/2011 3:03:26 PM , Rating: 3
Either way, your private info is screwed

Its not "private" information if you type it into facebook.

Honestly though, why does anyone have a compelling need to put their phone number or address on facebook? If you don't have my phone number already, there's probably a reason for that.


By Iaiken on 1/17/2011 4:11:11 PM , Rating: 1
Its not "private" information if you type it into facebook.


Hell, this is a lesson most people should have learned in grade school. If you don't want Zucky to give some psycho stalker your home phone number, don't tell Zucky in the first place.

Companies change their privacy policies all the time and you can suddenly find that everyone knows about your 80+ hours/week Warcraft playtimes because blizzard linked your real ID to your FB account. Didn't get that job interview because the potential employer was concerned about you spending more time on warcraft than on work, too bad, Blizzard and FB needed the multilevel marketing more than you needed that job. :P


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.

RE: Why you can't trust FB with naked pictures
By Smilin on 1/17/2011 3:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
Do they get it right all the time? Nope.

And when they fix a problem does it put the horse back in the barn? Nope.

Once your information is lost, it's lost.

By The Raven on 1/18/2011 10:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
Right on bro. They want people to be comfortable enought to put their info up on FB. And that is a noble endeavor. What this statement said to me is that they are not ready to be entrusted with my private info if I did choose to share it. But the fact remains that personal privacy is originally compromised by THE CONTENT GENERATOR.

Its like blaming Julian Assange for a security breach at the DoD.

Glad I don't use real info on FB then...
By callmeroy on 1/17/2011 11:24:17 AM , Rating: 4
One of the reasons my comments on these FB stories is so smug is because for me its like the stories are confirming a "I told you so" kind of attitude. I tell friends and family all the time "whatch what you put on FB!"....

Glad my FB account uses mostly fake information.

RE: Glad I don't use real info on FB then...
By messyunkempt on 1/17/2011 12:55:01 PM , Rating: 4
Glad my FB account uses mostly fake information.

Doesnt that kind of defeat the whole point of the site? If you aren't comfortable with your details being on there then just ommit the ones you don't want to be public. Or maybe just think that if you're really so uncomfortable you put fake details on then maybe 'social networking' isn't for you...

By Da W on 1/17/2011 1:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you post your adress and phone number on a website and NOT wanting anybody to have access to it???

My windows phone has access to these contact info already. And i can tell you, only 2 or 3 of my friends posted it.

By Flunk on 1/17/2011 5:02:09 PM , Rating: 3
That really does defeat the point, my Facebook account only has accurate information but only that which I wouldn't mind posted on the side of a building 50 stories high.

Neutral opinions (E.G. I like Salsa dancing), safe photos, filtered email address and the like. It's possible to use Facebook as a tool, without it owning you.

Well, yeah.
By MrTeal on 1/17/2011 10:56:33 AM , Rating: 4
Graham Cluley from Sophos is calling for Facebook users to remove their physical address and phone number from the social network.

I'd sure as hell hope so. I keep my profile reasonably closed off, mostly just for keeping up with friends and sharing baby pictures with family, but nothing on there that I wouldn't want getting out into the open. I'm constantly reminding friends that they should not have their address and phone number up there. The number of people who still have their profile open to everyone, with their address listed, and their status set to "Woohoo, going to Cuba for 2 weeks tomorrow!" is staggering.

RE: Well, yeah.
By Camikazi on 1/18/2011 9:09:02 AM , Rating: 3
Ha I so wanna do that, make a profile with my address, say I am leaving to some far away company for a few weeks then wait, at home, in the dark, in a rocking chair, with a shotgun... :)

why put it there
By Murloc on 1/17/2011 2:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have no address or phone number on my account.
Just the city.

If someone wants to contact me he can find me through facebook, add as a friend and privately ask the phone number or address.
There's no reason to put it there.

Just Wanted to Say...
By mmatis on 1/17/2011 6:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
that, to me, Facebook is worth every penny I pay for it.

The Federal Government, on the other hand...

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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