Latest Facebook Change Exposes our Contact Details to Third Parties

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

facebook_security2Latest developer tweak from Facebook branded by bloggers as ‘evil’ , ‘criminal’ and ‘unjust’ as the giant social network exploits users personal information.

On Friday evening Facebook was first to announce its latest developer tweak via its blog which claimed that Facebook were now making users’s home address and mobile telephone number accessible to developers.

This has caused further outcry about the leading social network’s privacy breach issues.

Facebook users will only have their personal information  taken if they tick or accept the box to allow an app to access their data.  However the opportunity to ‘opt out’ is very easy to overlook as it appears alongside the normal application allow request as just an extra line of text saying it will also grant access to your contact information. Making us think that this simply is not enough protection for users!

There can be many attacks happening on a daily basis which can trick unknowing users into giving this information. Facebook is offering no protection against criminals and scammers from adopting and using the Facebook API to develop tools that capture user data for illegitimate means.

Currently anyone can write a Facebook application for any purpose, and unlike the iPhone app store by Apple, there is no protection against criminals or organised crime developing and releasing applications. It is a small step from one of the many recent survey scam applications to signing up mobile phones to premium rate services using information gained using this new system.

To make sure you don’t have your contact info stored follow these instructions.

  • On the Facebook Home Page click onto your profile > edit profile
  • You will see a menu selection on the left side > click the last tab ‘Contact information’
  • Here we recommend that you remove your address, postcode and telephone numbers if you want to protect your privacy!

We know this is not the first revelation in Facebook privacy concerns. Sarah, our lead developer came across a useful blog by Tom Scott which exposed the privacy pitfalls in Facebook. Check it out.