Facebook backtracks on data sharing

John Moe Jan 18, 2011

Just before the weekend, Facebook rolled out new functionality that allowed third party app developers to ask users for their address and mobile phone number. That’s information that Facebook has never made shareable in the past and it raised a lot of eyebrows. Granted, you could always say no, you don’t want that information shared. But the way apps are set up, the permission phase of installing the app is meant to breeze by and most people just approve it without reading it carefully. And lots of apps won’t load at all if you don’t give that permission. So on your way to take the quiz you want or play some game, boom, you’ve overshared and that data is headed to market as developers sell it to advertisers. Facebook has now made a u-turn on this policy and said it needs to be worked on to be made clearer. They’re not saying they won’t do it in the future, just pulling back for now.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.