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5 Bumps

Seem you don't have to be a politician to bury a story by making an announcement on a holiday weekend (edit - fb backed down!)


Last Friday at 6:00 PM, Facebook rolled out new permissions that give applications access to individuals’ addresses and phone numbers.

So if you use any app, like a game, the window you must click to allow it access to your profile (so you can use the game) now gets more personal info about you than ever before.

There is no way to opt-out. As you can see above, all personal data is being treated as if it were of the same value.

So if you want to play FarmVille (and Zynga wants addresses and phone numbers from this point forward), you have to grant Zynga permission to the home address and phone number in your profile. If you don’t want to let them have access, no farming for you, pal.

This is for all apps who decide to implement this new “feature” for developers, including ones that might be malicious. Or opportunistic app developers who try and land-grab as much data as possible to sell to third parties.

I think it is the equivalent of handing your ID to an anonymous telemarketer somewhere in the world. Ever order something and had your address or phone number sold?

With Facebook’s value through the roof, you can bet your privacy they’re going to monetize your dearest data. In a way, if you’ve shared it with Facebook, you already have.

The new screen (above) is the dialogue box in its new form.

One big problem is that people have been trained to click through this screen; the box now says it’s sharing the information but it does not really look any different than it did before. For people already overwhelmed by Facebook (like your kids and your grandma) it will be easy to miss.

Also, because the new window doesn’t say sharing address and phone number is a new thing, users are likely to think that on signup for CityVille that this is normal and all their friends have done it, and since their friends are not currently experiencing problems then everything must be fine.

Is Facebook capitalizing on the “everyone is doing it” mentality?

The real answer to that is a question: when have they not?

Don’t forget that with Facebook, people are made to use their real names and real information. Inexperienced social network users are likely to put their address and phone numbers into their profiles simply because the form fields are there. And that social conditioning, which many are taught, is what you are supposed to do with forms.

While most young girls grow up knowing that you don’t give your number (or address!) out to strangers or put it online, most guys are likely to not get at first glance why this is the significant breaking of a social personal safety rule. What’s worse, it’s on a commercial and institutional level.

Our kids need to be taught that it’s not okay to give your number and address to strangers online. I’m talking to you, Facebook.

I’m sure it will be fine. I mean, it’s not your credit card data. Oh – wait.

This reminds me of how Google’s Eric Schmidt responded in a CNBC interview when asked about regular people sharing information with Google as if the company were a “trusted friend.” His reply was basically that if you didn’t want people to know it, you shouldn’t share it online.

I’m guessing Facebook feels the same way.

Some people are saying that making the barriers of access zero-to-nothing for apps and their developers to your home address and phone number is a recipe for disaster. That it is a violation.

Some app makers and developers are happily commenting on the Facebook announcement saying, “Thanks! Really needed this!”

Other people are saying like it’s ‘crying wolf’ by privacy nerds, and are arguing that since most apps don’t “need” this data, and that we shouldn’t worry about it.

Bunch of articles on this, this was the shortest, but mainly from tech sources - not sexy enough for mainstream.  Will you keep your info in facebook?  Will you quit using apps instead? (yes, we know, some of you are just too cool for fb - are your kids?)

Seems squeaky wheels get greased after all

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 1:24 PM on Jan. 17, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • I double checked...No info there. :)

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:28 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I love Facebook so that I can keep up with family and friends but here lately, they are starting to really piss me off with the crap that they are doing.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 1:31 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Oh, I forgot, what that article doesn't mention, is that you have to give some of the applications permission to publish to your wall without notifying you...I was going to snag a couple of swagbucks by playing one of the games. Oh, heck no. Deny.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:31 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • lovinangels, I did that once without really reading the info. One company started doing that to me. It would post that I said "This really made me cry, you have got to watch this video". I was so mad, but I learned my lesson.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 1:34 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Yeah, my personal information is really "non-descript." So, no harm, no foul!

    But what's to stop someone from updating their profiles to include the addresses and phone numbers of exes, or just putting in someone else's random information!? The addresses and phone numbers are technically real?!?

    Answer by LoriKeet at 1:34 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I've been thinking about deleting my FB acct, and this is pretty much sealing the deal for me. Every time they changed their profile management their privacy settings had to be reset. They found ways to give out info and if you aren't constantly checking your privacy settings it goes unnoticed by the user. I don't play games on FB for this very reason, and even in CM, when you go to their games tab, some of the games on there are set up by FB and you have to click a box to allow you to play a game. It's the same thing with this site. It's possible (or likely) that CM is going the same route.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 1:39 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • QM- My daughter tells me it's really hard to totally delete your FB acct- Can you make your account inactive? I haven't been on FB in about 4 mos and I'm constantly getting emails from FB reminding me of my absence.


    Answer by Sisteract at 1:50 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Aw man, I love Tetris!


    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 1:53 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • You can never really delete anything on the internet - just like at CM, even if you delete your account, all your posts stay, and your profile page is cached on search engines and sites like wayback. These are the instructions to permanently delete a fb, but if you log back in at all within 2 weeks after requesting the deletion, they'll cancel your request.  And even though the page is gone and you can't interact with it anymore, the things that were on it are still floating out there on the net.


    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:55 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • IDK if you can go inactive. I will just take all info of me off of there. I put some pictures of my wedding on there and some from a HS reunion. The only reason I joined was because our HS reunion committee was using FB to organize instead of that Classmates site. More people use FB and they figured it would be easier for people to get the info they needed. The people I really want to keep in touch with already have my contact information, so I don't really have a use or need for FB. I suppose I could just take all info off of there except my name and leave it at that.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 1:57 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

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