Facebook Apps: Your Questions Answered

On OSM we recently reported on Facebook Apps, the trust that users put in them and how the trust can be broken at times. It seems that some of the information can be passed on to third-party companies without the user giving it a second thought. But now there are a few basic steps that can be taken to eradicate this, and answers to questions that some of you out there may have.

When users click the “Connect with Facebook” button, it is all too easy to forget what information you have listed down such as your name, location and involvement to any companies. Facebook’s privacy breach of security was highlighted by a Wall Street Journal investigation, which basically indicated that some users information was being transmitted to third-party apps that sync up to Facebook including a users ID number. Reports said that app developers had been giving the user ID’s containing information to outside companies. Although to some this is not a big security flaw, Facebook are in violation of developer terms of service.

The site has commented that they are looking into the issues although some are still dubious as to what will be done, bearing in mind that Facebook will not want to upset the big Platform apps which pull in busy user traffic. It seems that in the past, Facebook has managed to block and unblock certain apps such as “Top Friends” which had to be suspended. As Caroline at Cnet reported, Facebook are striving for a more “open and connected” place but they are aware of what this actually means. For you the user who has concerns, check your Facebook setup. Turn off your SuperPoke feature which in itself can access your data, go to your privacy settings, click the “Applications and Websites” link, check and alter your “Info accessible through your friends” section, and most importantly remember to look at your information every so often to alter it if needed.

Although Facebook has had it’s fair share of privacy issues, when you look at the bigger picture, personal information can be shared out through travel agencies, restaurants and credit card companies so in the scheme of things, Facebook may just be a small percentage of this problem.

Are you careful with what information you put on the internet? To read about this in more depth check out Cnet.