Selling You on Facebook
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 07/04/2012 17:26
Many popular Facebook apps are obtaining sensitive information about users -- and users' friends -- so don't be surprised if details about your religious, political and even sexual preferences start popping up in unexpected places.
Not so long ago, there was a familiar product called software. It was sold in stores, in shrink-wrapped boxes. When you bought it, all that you gave away was your credit card number or a stack of bills.
Now there are "apps" -- stylish, discrete chunks of software that live online or in your smartphone. To "buy" an app, all you have to do is click a button. Sometimes they cost a few dollars, but many apps are free, at least in monetary terms. You often pay in another way. Apps are gateways, and when you buy an app, there is a strong chance that you are supplying its developers with one of the most coveted commodities in today's economy: personal data.
How Grabby Are Your Facebook Apps?
The Wall Street Journal analyzed 100 of the most used applications that connect to Facebook's social-networking platform to see what data they sought from people. The Journal also tested its own Facebook app, WSJ Social. Below, the apps tested by the Journal, along with the permissions they ask users to grant them.