On Facebook, apps are everywhere. Some days I hear more about fictitious crop updates than real updates. Previously, I talked about concerns with Facebook frictionless apps but what about all those other Facebook apps?
These apps may not be automatically sharing your activity but they are sharing data. A Wall Street Journal examination of 100 of the most popular Facebook apps found that most collected full names, profile picture, email address and list of friends, among other details. A few apps even collected friends’ birthdays and current locations.
To find out what my apps were sharing, I checked out my Facebook permission page under App Settings. My apps required I share at least my basic information. Turns out, basic information was a lot of information.
Besides the ease of use, I love that parents can check out an app ahead of time. When a kid is in the middle of downloading an app and suddenly the permission page pops up, this is not the best time to talk privacy. Kids wanting a game will usually agree to anything. With Privacyscore, parents and kids can review an app’s privacy rating before downloading the app.
Other organizations, such as Momswithapps and Common Terms, are also developing privacy icons. Hopefully these icons will catch on and spread across other platforms. For now, be sure to check out how well your favorite Facebook app scores on privacy.