Now scientists have created a simple interface that clearly shows what information you’re about to give the app access to. This is important for us to know.
The sign-up interface was devised by Penn State University researchers, who claim that many Facebook app developers may try to profit from their games and tools by selling or sharing the data with advertisers and other companies. The information could also be leaked to identity thieves.
Members who sign up for an app must agree to new terms of information disclosure that are often different from their main Facebook privacy settings, they say.
The sign-up screen currently is a general agreement that shows information third-party developers are requesting. If the member does not agree, the member cannot use the app.
The screen designed by the researchers allows members to decide what types of information they are comfortable sharing and with whom they want to share it.
Privacy settings allow members to determine how much information the member wants to display or share with their members of their network and Facebook.
Xu said that people may not even know that they may expose their friends’ personal data if they use apps. A calendar app, for example, could allow developers to access the member’s birthdate, as well as the birthdate of friends who are part of the member’s network.
As you would expect, a Facebook spokesperson vigorously denied that using apps is a risky process for its users.
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