Santoriello Studios 2000 to 2012
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Facebook Apps & Your Private Data… Beware!

We’ve all seen it. That innocent looking pop up window that requests your permission the first time you try to play a game on Facebook. We find it annoying and quickly click the “allow” button so we can move on to our gaming adventures. It’s harmless, right? Wrong.


Facebook does make efforts to protect your privacy. That’s why this Request for Permission window appears. But what you probably do not realize is you are potentially giving away your personal data – data that Facebook developers do not have access to unless you authorize it.


Don’t Just Click it. You have to Read it!

Even worse, uninstalling an app or game doesn’t magically get your data back from that developer. Once they have it – they have it for good and can do whatever they want with it. Facebook does have rules about these things, but they are basically impossible to enforce.


Now Facebook’s not trying to be shady here. They show you straight away what personal data you must give up if you want to play a game in that Request for Permission window. You need to take ownership of your privacy – read this window carefully when you see it and decide if playing that game is REALLY worth whatever personal data they are asking for.


Facebook has a robust permissions API that allows us developers to request everything from your email address (which means we can spam you) to your current location (which means we can stalk you). We can request information about your friends (ever wonder why your being unfriended?) and can post to Facebook as you, if you let us.


More often than not, developers are damn good people :) . They’re typically requesting all this information so they can provide you with a customized experience and promote their game or app to your friends through the news feed. All that said, do you really want a developer to know your current location if their app has nothing to do with locations? I think not. But it’s up to you to read that innocent looking pop up window and think before you click.


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Mar 10, 2011
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