Monday, January 17, 2011

Facebook Tip: The latest privacy issue and how to combat it

Update 1/18/11:

Mashable is reporting that Facebook has temporarily disabled the sharing of address and phone number information with app developers.

According to Facebook's statement, the move was due to "useful feedback" they received over the past few days.


Original Post 1/17/11:

Over the past 24 hours, it has been widely reported that Facebook is sharing more than you might think with app developers. Apparently, when you authorize the app to access your basic info, included in that info are you home address and phone number if you have added that info to your profile.

My simple advice for combating this issue: If you aren't comfortable with app developers knowing where you live or what your phone number is, then don't add the info to your profile or don't use the app. Unless Facebook does something to further limit the info app developers collect, these are the only two ways you can prevent this from happening.

Before everyone freaks out too much, please remember that 10-15 years ago, this information was all public for most people...remember the phone book?


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Craig Smith. Craig Smith said: Facebook Tip: The latest privacy issue and how to combat it: [...]

  2. Your points are very well stated, I just think that some people expect facebook to protect their privacy. With that being said, it is absurd that some facebook users publish their life history on a free website and then question the integrity of said site. Facebook should protect users privacy, corporations should act ethically, but once we've become dependent upon these sources and businesses, we tend to let some things slide by and in turn set a precedent for leeway. The power of social media is helping keep more and more businesses, etc in check.

  3. Thanks for the comment Lauren. I agree. It is a balance of corporate ethics and personal responsibility. I do scratch my head about what Facebook was thinking. With all the privacy issues they have had, why they would chose to start offering this info to developers last week and then act surprised that it caused a stir is amazing. You would think that , by now, they'd expect the reaction they received and it would be a deterrent from sharing the info.