Facebook Faces Flak for Granting Developers Access To User’s Mobile Numbers and Home Addresses

Written By Sam on 18 January 2011

Facebook, a giant among social networking sites, and also the most popular, now stands to receive criticism for allowing developers access to mobile numbers and home addresses of its users from its platform. This move has not been received well even though it is explicitly stated that users have the right to give their permission to disclose this data through a standard dialog box.

Developers with a positive intention of getting feedback to improve their apps are all right. However, those developers with questionable intentions will most likely use such data for marketing purposes and users may now expect to receive a lot of mail and text messages and phone calls on their mobiles from such developers. Even rogue Facebook apps will be able to worm out this data. Given that this category has never had good intentions and has the smarts to extract data, if made available, it would be in the larger interests of all users if Facebook withdraws this before any damage is done. Some users have already got active and deleted all their personal information from the site.

A positive side to the issue is that Facebook will serve as an identity authenticator. People visit a lot of sites that require registration by filling up an extended online form. Rather than doing this, with Facebook references, the procedure can be completed in a few clicks. But does this benefit stand tall against the negative implications?

The motives of Facebook have been called into question, specially when one considers that this announcement was made over the weekend and one expects Facebook to be more transparent in its dealing with its users.

Though policy states that an app can access the information required for its running, it is safer and wiser to check the type of permission such an app is requesting before clicking the “allow” button. The other alternative is to delete all personal information from your profile for now.

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