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Report: Facebook Apps Pulling Personal Data

     
10:37 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Report: Facebook Apps Pulling Personal Data [online.wsj.com]
Some of the most widely used apps on Facebook—the games, quizzes and sharing services that define the social-networking site and give it such appeal—are gathering volumes of personal information.

A Wall Street Journal examination of 100 of the most popular Facebook apps found that some seek the email addresses, current location and sexual preference, among other details, not only of app users but also of their Facebook friends. One Yahoo service powered by Facebook requests access to a person's religious and political leanings as a condition for using it. The popular Skype service for making online phone calls seeks the Facebook photos and birthdays of its users and their friends.
11:22 am on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This is why I never allow or sign up for these apps.

On a side note which you could file under "could this be true" heading, the television show "Person of Interest" made a comment in an episode that social sites were actually created by the government to collect personal data since people are more willing to disclose it when they thought they were doing so of their own free will. Kind of makes you wonder.

Marshall
4:19 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just a follow up. I was curious and checked a popular online store to see what they ask for when you login with facebook:

"user_about_me,
user_activities,
user_birthday,
friends_birthday,
user_education_history,
user_events,
user_groups,
user_hometown,
user_interests,
user_likes,friends_likes,
user_location,user_notes,
user_photos,
user_relationships,
friends_relationships,
user_religion_politics,
friends_religion_politics,
email"

I can see their reasoning behind it, that being targeting ads, but as pointed out, it asks for a lot of your friends' information which your friends may not want to share. I personally feel my friends do not have a right to share information about me with third parties without my consent.

On a side note, I do not understand why they want the user's photos.

Marshall