Feeds

Facebook UNVEILS VEIL for 'anonymous' logins

New, granular permissions give users line-item veto

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

If you've ever been hesitant to login to an app or website using your Facebook ID because you don't know what consequences clicking that blue button will actually have, Mark Zuckerberg says he feels your pain.

Speaking at the Facebook F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday – the first such event the social network has held since 2011 – Zuckerberg said the company will soon deliver updates to its login code that offer more privacy controls to users.

The first change, he said, will be more granular control over app permissions.

In the past, an app displayed a laundry list of data it wanted to access and actions it wanted to perform, and users were asked to say yea or nay to all of it at once.

With the new Facebook login API, users will be given line-by-line control over permissions – so they will be able to allow an app to see who their Facebook friends are, for example, but refuse to let it send messages or post anything to their timelines.

Facebook also plans to offer an anonymous login feature, which Zuckerberg described as "a hassle-free way to login and try apps."

Screenshot of Facebook's new granular login permissions

With Facebook's new login permissions,
users have control over what they share

The feature will offer users the convenience of a username-and-password-free Facebook login even when they're not ready to share any personal information with the app in question. If they later decide they want to share their names, friend lists, or other data, they will be able to do so.

Session data will even persist from one anonymous login to the next. "You'll be able to have an experience that's synced without the app even knowing who you are for the first time," Zuckerberg said.

The soon-to-be-30-year-old CEO also said that developers can expect Facebook to stand behind its new code and that the social network's APIs will be more stable in the future.

Going forward, Zuckerberg said, all Facebook APIs will have version numbers, and developers will be able to code against the version they want. The company will commit to supporting each version of the APIs for two years, and Zuckerberg said any major bugs will be fixed within 48 hours.

The more granular permission controls and anonymous login are both currently being tested with Facebook developers, and both are expected to roll out to the public over the next few months.

In addition, Zuckerberg said that although F8 conference scheduling has been spotty in the past, developers can expect the company to hold an event around this time every year from now on. The next F8 conference will be held in 2015 in San Francisco's Fort Mason. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
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.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?