Help us end the fiscal year strong. Donate by June 30. Give Now
Codebreaker

New freakout over Facebook apps and privacy about to commence

John Moe Apr 9, 2012


Somebody cue up Chic because there’s a freakout coming. The Wall Street Journal has a big article on the privacy-smashing power of many Facebook apps and says the apps are getting more information about you AND your friends than you might have expected:

A Wall Street Journal examination of 100 of the most popular Facebook apps found that some seek the email addresses, current location and sexual preference, among other details, not only of app users but also of their Facebook friends. One Yahoo service powered by Facebook requests access to a person’s religious and political leanings as a condition for using it. The popular Skype service for making online phone calls seeks the Facebook photos and birthdays of its users and their friends.


All the app makers say that the information they collect is necessary to make the app work properly and that the data is managed carefully. But sexual orientation? Political leanings? Come on.

Nosy apps are coming under a lot more scrutiny lately since the grossness of the Girls Around Me app was recently revealed. The truth is, however, that if you put information about yourself on Facebook, it’s vulnerable. The big reveal of this Journal article is that your information is vulnerable, even if you aren’t giving it away to some creepo app developer. The biggest security hole on Facebook is Friends.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.