Are you concerned at all about your privacy and Facebook applications?

I’m not sure if you are aware, but the Top Friends application (login needed) was booted off Facebook last week. Rumours allege that the application allowed improper use of member data, whereby random members could peruse the profiles of other members. If this is true, then it constitutes a serious breach of the privacy of members profile data.

So, as of this evening the Top Friends application (produced by mega application builder Slide) is back on Facebook, but as a Facebook member are you at all concerned about adding applications? Looking across some of my Facebook contacts, it appears that you implicitly trust a plethora of application developers. People whose ethical fortitude is completely untested. This is not to say that everyone out there is trying to steal your identity. However, I lose count of the number of quizes, games and just plain strange applications that a lot of my friends have added.

For each add of an application, members are effectively personally introducing the developer into their home and circle of friends. Showing them the seat of their identity. Here’s where I live. I get my email from X. Do you want my phone number? Trusting application developers is implicit in adding a Facebook application, I’ll warrant. But you have to wonder, what percentage of applications are actually harvesting your data? Those with grey ethics live in computerland too, unfortunately.

Oh, and I’m leaving out the stripper name application on purpose for the brevity of identity harvesting. You all know where that train is headed. Be dumb enough to add that info and you’re on your own.

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3 Comments

  1. I have almost 200 invitations (dating back a couple of years I hasten to add) to add applications, write on someone’s super wall, get zombie monkey vaccinated and so on on Facebook and I’ve pretty much ignored them all.

    The applications (not many) on my Facebook page are all ones I’m fairly happy to have there, or haven’t annoyed me enough with incessant emails to uninstall. There are certain applications (iLike, where i’ve been, books etc) that I find useful, but overall I’ve moved away from Facebook and Bebo a huge amount, gravitating towards LinkedIn and Twitter and back to good old fashioned email.

    Whatever about the data implications as well, I tend to be surprised by the stuff people put on their Facebook page. I don’t really need to know your stripper name, thanks.

  2. I’ve gone off Facebook a lot lately…
    Every time I log on (which is like once a week or so), I have around 50 different app invites…

    I wish they’d understand: If I don’t add it right away, I don’t want to add it ever!

  3. I am a BEBO follower and I only have face book as a redirect. The only application I use on BEBO is top friends but I don’t think it can even be classed as an app on Bebo.. Everything else just seems a bit childish – I mean where does someone think an adult needs to be sucker vampire punched?

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