Feeds

Facebook apps must now seek permission for user data

What took so &#@!ing long?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

In a move hailed by privacy advocates, Facebook on Wednesday deployed a feature that allows its users to better control what personal information can be accessed by third-party applications and websites.

The new authorization process, which Facebook CTO Bret Taylor announced in a blog post, is activated whenever a user installs a new application or first logs into an external website using a Facebook account. It presents a dialog box that details the user information that is accessed by the app or website and requires the user to click a button before the data is shared.

The new request box comes in stark contrast to years of Facebook policy, which has opted to apologize profusely after the fact for liberties taken with user data rather than ask for informed consent ahead of time. As the social networking site struggles to monetize its more than 400 million active users, it has repeatedly loosened default privacy settings, angering those who preferred to shield their friends, pictures and other data from world+dog.

Wednesday's move was praised by the Center for Democracy and Technology, which has long argued that Facebook puts users' privacy at risk. The new dialog box not only gives users better control over their data, it has the capability of doing a lot more.

“The new permissions model also creates real incentives for application developers to minimize their data collection: now that they have to be transparent about what types of data they are collecting, application developers may think twice before asking for access to information in excess of what they need to deliver their advertised product,” CDT's Erica Newland wrote.

Facebook's Taylor reiterated that users can always revoke permissions by removing apps from the applications settings page. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?