Why you should think twice before using a Facebook Application?

One of the most addictive features of Facebook is the mindless apps. I rarely use these applications cause I am uncomfortable with the trade off I am forced to make before using one. I have picked a random application which one my friends on Facebook used a little while ago.

Below is the screen shot of “Discover India with Anupam Kher” Application, which is supposed have quiz of some sort.

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If you look at information which the application is requesting, its pretty scary. Its asking for almost every bit of info we have put on Facebook

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Profile Picture
  • Your Networks
  • Your Entire Friend List
  • Your Activities, Interests
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Send me email: Usually revealing just email ID, will likely cause an increase in spam. But letting e-mail ID out with other data like DOB, Age, Sex, Location, Workplace etc. potentially have unintended consequences.
  • Post to my Wall: This guarantees the developer (of the app) a right access to your Wall Posts.
  • Access to My Data Any Time: This is the most scary of all, its a license for the anonymous people to access your data any time they choose to have. (till you manually remove the application from your Facebook App)

I went further and checked the mentioned apps’ Facebook page, only to see to see the sponsors. There is every chance that these private corporations funded the application only for data which the it collects.

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Why would a simple Quiz application need access to so much of your data?

There are many bogus applications made by developers whose credibility is not verified. Most of these applications might just be a proxy for mining  personally identifiable information. My fears here might be a little exaggerated, but I would suggest Facebook Application Users to think twice before granting applications the right to access their profile information.

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3 thoughts on “Why you should think twice before using a Facebook Application?”

  1. What I like about Facebook’s permissions page is that it is very detailed. To compare with another permissions view, Android, it explains the gravity of each allowed permission much more.

    That is the reason why I have not used a single Facebook application till date, while Android’s still fooling me into tapping Accept on all permission pages.

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