Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Top Facebook Apps Violate Privacy Terms

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the dying-from-not-surprise dept.

Facebook 95

cgriffin21 writes "No stranger to privacy concerns, Facebook is once again in the privacy spotlight, following a Wall Street Journal report that some popular Facebook applications leak personal information to advertisers. 'Many of the popular applications, or 'apps,' on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information — in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names — to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies,' according to The Wall Street Journal, which wrote about Facebook Sunday in the latest installment of its recent 'What They Know' series about advertising and the Internet."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Also in the news (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33932402)

Also in the news; writing your phone-number in a public convenience with a marker pen can get you unwanted attention.

Re:Also in the news (2, Funny)

acedotcom (998378) | about 4 years ago | (#33933094)

but i want people to call me for a good time...but i dont want them to know who i am....i'll just write that my name is Jenny....

Re:Also in the news (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33933242)

> but i want people to call me for a good time...but i dont want them to know who i am....i'll just write that my name is Jenny....

I know you think I'm like the others before
Who saw your name and number on the wall...

Jenny, Jenny, you're the girl for me.
You don't know me but you make me so happy...^__^

Re:Also in the news (5, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | about 4 years ago | (#33933504)

I recently purchased an ad on facebook for my company's product.

I should have known something was awry when the following were offered as substitution variables in the ad copy:

$FIRST_NAME
$LAST_NAME
$WHAT_MOMMY_CALLS_THEM
$GENDER
$AGE_RANGE
$INCOME_LEVEL
$INCOME_LEVEL_REPORTED_ON_EHARMONY
$SEX_PARTNERS_IN_PAST_6_MONTHS
$SEX_PARTNERS_IN_PAST_6_MONTHS_REALLY
$POLITICAL_PARTY
$POLITICAL_PARTY_THEY_ACTUALLY_VOTE_FOR
$SPOUSE_BIRTHDAY
$MISTRESS_BIRTHDAY
$FACEBOOK_USER_THEY_STALK_MOST
$CREDIT_CARD_LAST_4_DIGITS
$CREDIT_CARD_FIRST_12_DIGITS ...

Re:Also in the news (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33934342)

Well, you're close, but you forgot four:

$EMBARRASSING_NICKNAME_CALLED_IN_ELEMENTARY_SCHOOL
$IS_CELEBRITY

And then, depending on whether $IS_CELEBRITY is true or not, one of the following:

$NAKED_CHILDHOOD_PICTURE_IN_BATHTUB
$CELEBRITY_SEX_TAPE_URL

Because if they're not famous, their parents always have a picture of them in the tub as an infant, and if they are famous, there's always a sex tape. Unless it's an under-18 female, in which case it is

$UNDERAGE_RACY_PICTURES_SENT_TO_HER_EX_BOYFRIEND

instead.

By the way, how did you get past the lameness filter with that much in all caps?

Re:Also in the news (1)

Syberz (1170343) | about 4 years ago | (#33934526)

writing your phone-number in a public convenience with a marker pen can get you unwanted attention.

That's true, just ask Jenny.

Re:Also in the news (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33934962)

That's why I don't write mine there. I write yours.

Regards,
Mark Z.

facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | about 4 years ago | (#33932478)

...and it is the end of privacy as we DON'T know it!
Mark Zuckerberg sure has a predisposition to violating people's privacy and trust.
I would quit facebook but then I would risk losing my 300+ distant, casual acquaintances :(

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (1)

Mauronx13 (1923800) | about 4 years ago | (#33932560)

Yeap that's so true. Lucky I had never used facebook for privacy motives of my job. Now is like think twice if you want to use an app.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | about 4 years ago | (#33933254)

One of the big problems with this is that apps can get at your information even if you don't use them - all it takes is for one of your friends to use one.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933460)

You can turn that off.

Facebook's policy writers can go fuck themselves (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about 4 years ago | (#33934370)

Now is like think twice if you want to use an app.

It's quite obnoxious. I never hopped on the facebook apps wagon.... mostly because a superior form of every single fucking app was available on a better website or native Windows app. However, when I wanted to read the "results" of someone else's use of one of those apps, it takes me to this extremely presumptuous page with lovely items like:

Hai guize! Your friend $RANDOM_LUSER has used $OUR_SHITTY_APP and you can too!

(But of course I don't want to, nor do I give a shit)

Facebook: To get started, this application needs access to the following information. Check or clear the [already checked] boxes to restrict this app's access to your information:

  • Your Name
  • Your email address
  • Your friends' names
  • Your firstborn child
  • Pictures of your genitals
  • Your phone number (will not be called except between the hours of 2 and 7 AM)
  • Your social security number (you will need to provide it after clicking "Run as Administrator")
  • Exclusive rights to anything you ever create for the rest of your life

Deselecting any of the items on the list blocks access to the application. An application, which, I might add, doesn't need any of that info to operate correctly.

I had presumed that particular app has just been written by some assho^H^H developer who was stupid, but further attempts to use apps at later points in time have all yielded the same result. I still haven't used one to this day out of principle. ...Not to mention nearly every one I've seen is completely retarded.

By the way... anyone find that "Block all App notifications from your feed" button yet? I tried asking the facebook staff but they couldn't hear me because Zuckerberg was making too much noise swimming in a pool full of money.

Re:Facebook's policy writers can go fuck themselve (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 years ago | (#33934868)

However, when I wanted to read the "results" of someone else's use of one of those apps,

Why would you ever want to do that?

Re:Facebook's policy writers can go fuck themselve (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about 4 years ago | (#33935196)

However, when I wanted to read the "results" of someone else's use of one of those apps,

Why would you ever want to do that?

Because she's hot?

Re:Facebook's policy writers can go fuck themselve (2, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | about 4 years ago | (#33935494)

Deselecting any of the items on the list blocks access to the application. An application, which, I might add, doesn't need any of that info to operate correctly.

Given that the sole purpose of those apps is to collect such information, they actually do need that info to operate correctly.

You didn't think they exist to entertain you, did you? Really?

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 years ago | (#33932718)

It makes me wonder why Facebook had a privacy "policy" for app writers when they could have easily scrubbed data before letting Zinga et al get their grubby mitts on them. A "Do not walk on grass" sign carries less weight than a groundskeeper, security guard, or a fence.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (2, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 4 years ago | (#33932874)

Ah, my life for a Mod point. The point of security is to enforce the rules, not to ask for them to be enforced. I've been forced to turn off almost everything across the board on facebook. It's become a joke in it's 'safety' features and 'privacy' (or lack thereof).

How long before we see the release of Diaspora?

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933360)

It makes me wonder why Facebook had a privacy "policy" for app writers when they could have easily scrubbed data before letting Zinga et al get their grubby mitts on them. A "Do not walk on grass" sign carries less weight than a groundskeeper, security guard, or a fence.

Because that wouldn't have made Mark Zuckerberg stinking rich.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33934202)

Yes it would. Facebook exists to sell your information to third parties. Restricting the information that third parties can get at without paying Facebook is directly in line with their goals. Of course, it also requires some moderate amount of competence, which is pretty unlikely for Facebook.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (1)

nametaken (610866) | about 4 years ago | (#33936244)

I don't think it's nearly that nefarious. At least not directly.

Parts of this functionality are useful (or nearly necessary) for making good games and such. It just turns out that, surprise of surprises, people are assholes. Unique identification and communication with friends through the platform is part of the appeal for the user. No, we don't expect those co's to turn around and sell that same info.

Facebook, for their part, warns you very explicitly that any 3rd party you OK could rape the fuck out of your personal info. They do this every single time you OK an app. It's just that everyone says, "Yeah ok, I'm fine with that." People are truly dumb sometimes.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (1)

Donallen2 (1924038) | about 4 years ago | (#33939930)

Ahhhh... bingo! You can see it now... "Now listen guys, remember our privacy policy", says the FB rep with a wink and elbow bump. The value of ad space increases dramatically with just a little bit of extra demographic details thrown in. But don't worry... they're on top of it... wink, wink. Don. http://www.viewcaster.net/ [viewcaster.net]

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (4, Informative)

Goffee71 (628501) | about 4 years ago | (#33932990)

Facebook isn't in the privacy business, its in the business business and until told to stop it, in court, via a socking great fine, it will carry on regardless.

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (1)

Ceseuron (944486) | about 4 years ago | (#33939162)

Facebook isn't in the privacy business, its in the business business and until told to stop it, in court, via a socking great fine, it will carry on regardless.

While I concur with this statement, the downside is that businesses like Facebook will often weigh the risk of getting fined versus how much they'll make selling all that information to advertising vultures. If the face value of the fine is less than the total profits made from selling private information to the highest bidders and the profit margin is big enough, I think the obvious result occurs. Facebook sells the information, Mark Zuckerberg pockets even more money, and they pay off the fine with whatever change was left over.

tougher penalties (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34072390)

I think it's pretty clear that facebook has broken the law. It's not OK for businesses to keep breaking the law simply because the penalties are lower than the gain.

If this doesn't stop, penalties will increase, and maybe one should go with tough criminal penalties after the owners and managers.

OT: Your signature (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34094120)

I noticed the Beetles reference. I've read (on the interwebz so don't quote me) that it's supposed to be a reference to the Christian parable of the Walrus and the Carpenter. John Lennon claims he got the two parties confused and meant to be the carpenter. You decide ;)

Re:facebook is the end of privacy as we know it... (1)

siriuskase (679431) | about 4 years ago | (#33933572)

Facebook wouldn't be worth much if it was private. With all the Zuck stuff in the news lately, you would think people would know that. What do they think he sells?

i'm gay for linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33932514)

linux is for gay people only. straight people need not apply.

Re:i'm gay for linux (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33932606)

Not only does "obvious troll is obvious" work here, but you posted in the wrong fucking thread. Linux thread is the next story down you raging idiot. What is the world coming to when people can't even troll properly.

Re:i'm gay for linux (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33932850)

Are you suggesting that we need a new "ADD Troll" moderation?

I'm surprised (4, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 4 years ago | (#33932520)

Yes, I'm surprised. Not at the fact that "private" data (in this case a UID that identifies a user that can be used to get their profile page and anything that they haven't hidden) has been released. No, I'm surprised at the fact that they are reporting it as an "inadvertent" release from the games and that people are shocked.

If Facebook let data slip to the games when they didn't mean to then that'd be news. The fact that games (which, lets face it, appear to rely on either a) horrible advertising or b) selling your details, because there's no other way they could make it so profitable) give out extra data to advertisers that Facebook policy says that they weren't meant to seems like just another day at the office for many of those time wasting game developers.

Time Wasting!!! (1)

cpopin (671433) | about 4 years ago | (#33934144)

I've got nine hours to harvest my Peanut Butter & Jelly co-op in order to earn my Biplane, so I can easily fertilize my crops, pal! If fly-by spreading of sh|t far and wide over virtual crappy crops isn't more important than sending out resumés, than I'll be a Facebook CEO!

Re:Time Wasting!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33934376)

> than I'll be a Facebook CEO!

Have "then" and "than" completing switched meaning this year?

I've been waging a war on the misuse of "then" as a comparative term but now you go and pull the rug from under me by abusing "than"!

Re:I'm surprised (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | about 4 years ago | (#33934488)

FB games generally don't rely on advertising or selling your details to make a profit. It may be a nice icing on the cake to get a bonus for the VP of monetization, but the lion's share usually comes from direct user payments for various bonuses or pretty pixels. In a decent FB game at least some 1-2% of players become customers, and if you get multiple millions of active players (as many FB games do) then it easily adds up to very nice amounts.

Zynga earns more than a million dollars per day. It doesn't come from placing crappy ads in their games or from selling their customers to others - heck, they are spending lots of money in advertising elsewhere to get players to their games, they would be probably more interested in buying customer data than selling it.

Re:I'm surprised (1)

Lemming42 (931274) | about 4 years ago | (#33935412)

The fact that games (which, lets face it, appear to rely on either a) horrible advertising or b) selling your details, because there's no other way they could make it so profitable)

Whoa, slow your roll there. I'm sure lots of apps make money on advertising, but it's unfair to say that their business model is based around violating user privacy.

The biggest games (Zynga games, especially) have proven that people are absolutely willing to engage in microtransactions in exchange for speed-ups and convenience.

Looks just like referrer passing (3, Informative)

sinclair44 (728189) | about 4 years ago | (#33932530)

From my interpretation of TFA, it just looks like some apps were accidentally passing a referrer containing the user's Facebook ID.

"Recently, it has come to our attention that several applications built on Facebook Platform were passing the User ID (UID), an identifier that we use within our APIs, in a manner that violated this policy," Vernal wrote. "In most cases, developers did not intend to pass the information, but did so because of the technical details of how the browsers work."

"Press reports have exaggerated the implication of sharing at UID [user ID]. Knowledge of a UID does not enable anyone to access private user information without explicit user consent. Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring that even the inadvertent passing of UIDs is prevented and all applications are in compliance with our policy."

Re:Looks just like referrer passing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933048)

Intepretations aside, the collective 300 million plus customers who signed on to an agreement at least in good faith can find disposition of their data aided by discovery.

Re:Looks just like referrer passing (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#33933204)

Yeah, the UID's primary use is in linking back user activities directly to a particular FB account. So while this doesn't expose private information in the FB account itself, it does make it trivial to correlate activities from various apps in order to build a more detailed profile of a given FB user.

Re:Looks just like referrer passing (1)

bouldin (828821) | about 4 years ago | (#33933772)

Agreed.

And although I really am determined to hate Facebook, someone should also point out that News Corp, who owns WSJ, also owns MySpace.

Re:Looks just like referrer passing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33939236)

in this case, they might just have been passing the users fb id, but the applications by default have access to the following of you and your friends data (whether or not that data is available to a non logged in user)

Bio
My videos
Birthday
My links
Family and relationships
My notes
Interested in and looking for
Photos and videos I'm tagged in
Religious and political views
Hometown
My website
Current location
If I'm online
Education and work
My status updates
Activities
interests
things I like
My photos
Places I check in to

so the potential for even bigger data leaks is immense.

i suggest everyone that is bothered about this, go to your privacy page and untick all the options for data available to applications.
Go to : http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy&section=apps then click the "edit settings" button next to the "Information accessible through your friends" section.
also remove any applications that you no longer use from your list at the top, to stop them leeching your data.

Top Facebook Apps Violate Privacy Terms (5, Funny)

obyom (999186) | about 4 years ago | (#33932650)

No stranger to privacy concerns, Facebook is one again in in the privacy spotlight...

Isn't "privacy spotlight" an oxymoron?

Re:Top Facebook Apps Violate Privacy Terms (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33932878)

Only if you're not using a Mac. I get 2880 results for "privacy".

Failbook is for Fucktards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33932840)

If one must use failbook then they are obviously too fucking stupid to even exist let alone use a computer. . Failbook must be shut down so fucktards will fucking self destruct and the gene pool can be fucking cleansed.

Re:Failbook is for Fucktards (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933002)

On the contrary.

Just yesterday some guy posted a picture on 4chan of a girl that he claimed he was fucking. This girl was wearing a cheerleader outfit that was emblazoned with the words “South” and her first name. The filename of the picture contained the Facebook user ID of another girl, who could be assumed to be on the same cheer squad. Her friends list was not public, but her first and last name, the girl from the picture’s first name, and the word “South” in a quick Google search yielded the high school’s name and the roster of the entire cheer squad. It was easy enough to find the Facebook profile of the girl in the picture... there were only 2 results for her name, and her profile picture was her in the same cheerleading uniform. OP shat brix, personal army ensued...

tl;dr: Facebook is an excellent way for fucktards to self-destruct. Don’t shut it down.

Re:Failbook is for Fucktards (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33933032)

> Failbook must be shut down so fucktards will fucking self destruct and the gene pool can be fucking cleansed.

On the contrary, dear AC. Facebook must stay up and their users stay on as long as possible to reach your worthy goal! ;-)

Re:Failbook is for Fucktards (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 4 years ago | (#33933878)

Failbook must be shut down so fucktards will fucking self destruct and the gene pool can be fucking cleansed.

I agree wholeheartedly. Right now, millions of fucktards are using failbook to have a social life, get dates, and ultimately, have sex. How on earth will that further the human race!?

You're already screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33932844)

All of the data brokers scraped facebook back when it had basically no privacy, and so they already have all of your stuff. It's scary. They get pictures and everything. Just try to call up mylife, etc. and see what they have on you from your own facebook, even if it's marked private now.

Murdoch Own's both WSJ and Myspace (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933004)

It's good to understand the power structure and who is reporting on who.

Facebook needs a default block (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33933050)


One thing that pisses me off are the endless "Joe Blow has scored 100283 points on Fist the Goatse Guy"-type messages. You have to block that type of shit manually. They should have a default deny for that garbage.

End of Rant.

Re:Facebook needs a default block (2, Informative)

darkstar949 (697933) | about 4 years ago | (#33933278)

You need to do this for each app that spams the wall, but when you put your mouse over the message an X will appear. Clicking will give you a couple options like "Hide [User]", "Mark as Spam", and "Hide Messages from [App]." When you hide the messages from the app, you will hide all messages across everyone on your friend list. Given that certain apps tend to be the most popular and played by more than one person, it shouldn't be too hard to hide the majority of the messages.

Re:Facebook needs a default block (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33933418)

That's what I do but I need to be on a computer to do it. The Facebook app doesn't seem to have that feature. It's a royal PITA.

Re:Facebook needs a default block (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33938722)

actually using the built in "Hide messages from [App]" does nothing to help keep your info private from that application, the application's developer, and whoever he chooses to sell your data to, you actually need to block the application in order to stop that application getting hold of your user data, and in order to block the application you need to go to that applications homepage, and click the "block application" link. theres a browser script / extension called F.B Purity http://www.fbpurity.com that adds a "Block App" button to each application post in your fb homepage/newsfeed, which makes blocking the applications a whole lot quicker and easier. of course Facebook dont want you to block the applications as then, the application developers will be pissed off as they will have less access to all facebooks users juicy personal information.

FBPurity (4, Insightful)

scrib (1277042) | about 4 years ago | (#33933490)

Firefox, greasemonkey add-on, and FBPurity. The "FB" stands for "Fluff Busting" not "facebook" for legal reasons...

It blocks app messages, groups joined, events attended, everything. You can whitelist some things that you might want to see and create your own list of blocked words if you want. It's the only thing that makes facebook vaguely usable in my book...

http://www.fbpurity.com/ [fbpurity.com]

Re:FBPurity (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33934238)

They don't work on the mobile app as they just hide, not block, the crap. As far as Facebook is concerned you're still a member of the group/whatever.

Re:FBPurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33938914)

no it doesnt work on the mobile version of the site, just the normal version. and yes fbpurity does have a "block app" feature that specifically blocks the application from getting your personal data and also stops you being invited to add that application and stops that application posting to your wall etc.

Re:FBPurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33939816)

btw the addon is not just firefox compatible, it also works on Safari, Google Chrome and Opera :)

They deserve it (0, Troll)

oic0 (1864384) | about 4 years ago | (#33933060)

The people affected deserve it. EVERY application on facebook wants ALL of your personal information before they will let you participate. Did people really think they needed all of that information before the cow clicky program could work? If they did then they are stupid and deserve their fate. You even get a nice warning before running the apps "you must agree to let this app rape all of your personal information to play cow clicker 5.0". Only an idiot would be surprised when that data is monetized. The collection of that data was probably the entire purpose of the "app".

Re:They deserve it (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 4 years ago | (#33933964)

If they did then they are stupid and deserve their fate.

Why do stupid people deserve their fate?

That's a serious question there. It's not like stupid people choose (necessarily) to be stupid. You might as well tell the guy in a wheelchair that he deserves to never walk again.

Re:They deserve it (1)

siriuskase (679431) | about 4 years ago | (#33934156)

That is a good question. Half of us only have two digit IQ's. Of the rest, most didn't study data mining in college, or their minds just don't work that way. That is not a character flaw. In fact, the word would be a nicer place if everyone could be so naive.

Private Parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933106)

In other news, submitting your private data to Facebook will result in a breach of your privacy anyway

FB Privacy...FWIW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933192)

Would like to know, what measures others have taken, to preserve a modicum of 'privacy' on FB, short of not using it at all.

Things that have worked for me:

- sign up under a different name / fantasy handle (tell people directly who you are instead)
- sign up using a temporary e-mail address or throw-away web mail account
- don't do apps
- don't befriend people you never heard of
- don't post any kind of picture of yourself/family (and tell people you know to honor that too). Untag any such pix immediately if uploaded anyway by others.
- leave all identifying 'Info' out, like year of birth, employer, relatives, town etc..
- be careful what you post and cleanse of identifying information before submitting

Any other ideas?

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33933330)

Of course, set everything you can to 'friends only' ;-)

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (3, Insightful)

siriuskase (679431) | about 4 years ago | (#33934064)

Don't post anything you wouldn't want all your friends to know. Remember that you have friends you don't know about, the one's who pay FB to be your "secret friends". Isn't it nice to have so many friends?

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33934218)

> Remember that you have friends you don't know about, the one's who pay FB to be your "secret friends". Isn't it nice to have so many friends?

Not sure what you mean....please tell me more.

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33933692)

> Any other ideas?

The EFF's HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plugin will SSL-encrypt, among other things, your connection to Facebook. Works OK (chat doesn't work and I had some issues here and there with some images, which apparently get loaded from somewhere else). Still worth it though and you can always unset FB temporarily in the Plugin Preferences if needed:

https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere [eff.org]

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33933768)

> The EFF's HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plugin will SSL-encrypt, among other things, your connection to Facebook.

Even without the plugin you can set your bookmark to https://www.facebook.com/ [facebook.com]
This will at least encrypt the login page and then go plain-text.

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 4 years ago | (#33935182)

> The EFF's HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plugin will SSL-encrypt, among other things, your connection to Facebook.

Even without the plugin you can set your bookmark to https://www.facebook.com/ [facebook.com]
This will at least encrypt the login page and then go plain-text.

And then your session-cookie can be hijacked.

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 4 years ago | (#33934566)

> HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plugin
> Works OK (chat doesn't work

I just read, you could use Pidgin + OTR for FB chat. Haven't tried it but might be an option. Not sure though about the login, since it doesn't use SSL apparently.

Re:FB Privacy...FWIW (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 years ago | (#33934912)

At the extreme end, have a virtual machine with a Web browser in it that uses a proxy server, and have an account with zero friends whose only purpose in life is for FB apps. This way, they can send all the marketing crap they want to 22 acacia avenue. To boot, the VM will stop essentially all malware when rolled back, not to mention the persistent shared crap.

This will work up to a point... if someone has to purchase cow clicks, most likely they will have to give their real ID info, which will immediately be added to existing profiles and up for sale in seconds.

Linux wins on usability too (0, Offtopic)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 4 years ago | (#33933372)

Over the past few years, modern Linux distributions such as Ubuntu have utterly transformed the open-source desktop user experience into something sleek and simple, while arguably surpassing Windows and Mac OS in both security and stability.

...and usability. I installed and played a new A list title on Windows last week and every minute of the experience made me want to scream. From the surprise reboot due to virus patches to the 25 digit "authorization" code that has to be entered manually, to the many step, go back to the beginning and try to figure it out again installation process, to the jerky video, to the clumsy user interface, it all trails the modern Linux desktop experience by a wide country mile. I swear, this is the last time I will ever run a game of any description on Windows, or any application that I am not absolutely forced to. These days that happens about once every two years, and fallilng.

Re:Linux wins on usability too (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 4 years ago | (#33933512)

Linux seems to have the downside of making you reply in the wrong topic

Re:Linux wins on usability too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33934520)

lol win. this dan phillips guy is a nutjob anyways...try upgrading your hw and using win 7, if ur h.264 decoding is still laggy, try pirating coreavc.

Re:Linux wins on usability too (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 4 years ago | (#33937222)

What a precious gift to humanity you are.

Re:Linux wins on usability too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33937324)

We’re all so thrilled you came back to say that. Really.

Really? (sarcasm) (3, Informative)

smbarbour (893880) | about 4 years ago | (#33933396)

You mean Zynga actually is the money hungry whore everyone thought it was?

Re:Really? (sarcasm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33933630)

Thought? Mark Pincus (CEO) admits it blatantly in the below video (circa 2009), quote: "We did anything possible to just get revenue".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7YaVVpK1G4 [youtube.com]

His use of the word "did" implies that is no longer the case (especially mentioning the "toolbar", which has now evolved into a per-game per-browser toolbar), so shady revenue acquisition is still their modus operandi.

It's also pretty """cool""" how Zynga is named after Pincus' dead dog [latimes.com] . Maybe I'll name my next company after my late ex-wife... because, you know, it makes perfect sense and represents what the company does (doggy style?).

Zynga -- just another dot-com O-ring blow-out company. Keep on making badly-written Flash games that chew up 40% of a 4-core processor!

Re:Really? (sarcasm) (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33934984)

His dog?

99% chance his favorite password has "zynga" in it.

For the nth time already (5, Insightful)

TheABomb (180342) | about 4 years ago | (#33933664)

It's not a "privacy leak" if you type the $#!% in yourself!

Re:For the nth time already (3, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 4 years ago | (#33934036)

What about when acquaintances release personal information about you on Facebook?

That's the real problem with these apps that violate privacy, if it violates an individuals privacy it violates everyones (to some degree).

Like it or not there is shared information that defines you, with our without your input.

Re:For the nth time already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33934216)

Amen. Data you willingly submit to corporations whose raison d'etre is to sell it to advertisers is not, and never will be, private. Anybody who thinks differently is an idiot. And yes, there are a lot of idiots out there.

Re:For the nth time already (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33935830)

You're wrong.

I type my credit card in when I buy stuff online. I expect that only the appropriate employees at the cc processor have access to that information.

I type my telephone number in on facebook. I expect that only people on my friends' list can see my phone number, but sure enough, it's accessible by Zynga et. al. because one (or several) of my friends played farmville or whatever during the day or so after facebook auto-reset everyone's privacy settings.

You may be right that the term 'privacy leak' is a bit of a misnomer, as it generally refers to a large-scale breach of records, but the idea that 'if you type it in yourself' you deserve to have your information spread to any number of obnoxious companies is completely preposterous.

Overhyped BS (2, Informative)

Is0m0rph (819726) | about 4 years ago | (#33933820)

This a passing of a user ID only. If that user has setup their profile correctly nothing can be gained from that user ID. It's no different than typing a random name in the search and going to the returned user's pages.

Re:Overhyped BS (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33934276)

It has privacy issues similar to tracking cookies. It is like a tracking cookie you cannot delete.

It's not necessarily that it contains private information in itself, but it can be used to uniquely identify you.

If someone records what information goes with that UID once, then it's possible to match your UID to that information in the future, either by a past or future gathering from that party, or by purchasing the information to match against the UID from an information broker

Re:Overhyped BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33936272)

nothing can be gained from that user ID

Pretty sure your name is always available. You can make your info, picture, friends, groups, etc. all hidden, but I don’t think you can hide your name.

I don't think it's a coincidence (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33934236)

That the apps with problems are the top ones.

How do they become top apps?

They work, are designed well, and are appealing to their audience both graphically and functionally.

How do apps that best meet these criteria get built? By hiring top-notch programmers, web designers, and marketers.

What do you need to hire top-notch programmers, designers, and marketers? Lots of financial backing?

How do you get lots of financial backing and excellent investors? By selling a very good business plan.

How do you get lots of money to fund development? Advertising and information brokering.

What do advertisers pay a lot for? Extremely well-targetted ads that take into account specific characteristics of the audience.

What do information brokers pay a lot for? Private information about your users.

Farmville Stats for Advertisers (2, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 4 years ago | (#33934298)

Imagine going through this crap.

Chuck in Fargo needs help building his barn.

Mary in New York needs to borrow some fertilizer.

Some data miner for Farmville hates his life.

Re:Farmville Stats for Advertisers (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 4 years ago | (#33937330)

Imagine going through this crap. [..] Mary in New York needs to borrow some fertilizer.

Ship the big pile of crap to Mary. Problem solved!

Article contains spam link to ad page (1)

Animats (122034) | about 4 years ago | (#33934380)

The link in the article leads to a spam link page with a big timed Flash ad. The actual Wall Street Journal article mentioned is here. [wsj.com]

Casablanca (1)

No Lucifer (1620685) | about 4 years ago | (#33934864)

"I am shocked - SHOCKED - to find out private information is being used by developers" - Mark Zuckerberg

Re:Casablanca (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 4 years ago | (#33946012)

Minion-to-Zuckerberg enters and hands him a huge wad of bills. "You're winnings, sir".

Scary warning keeps me away (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 4 years ago | (#33935844)

I have a facebook account. It's not so bad. I don't use it very often but it's useful for some things. From time to time in the past I've gotten invitations to start using some app or another, and in rare circumstances it was an app which appealed to me for one reason or another. But, when I click to install it, I'm always confronted by a scary warning message saying that the app was going to steal my identity and rape my grandmother -- or something like that, it's hard to remember after something so scary. So I've never confirmed a facebook app because I've always been scared away by that warning. I guess I was right to be scared, huh? I think I'll keep being careful.

Re:Scary warning keeps me away (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 4 years ago | (#33939630)

So if such a warning is attached to every FB "app" what are the grounds for all the outrage?

Re:Scary warning keeps me away (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 4 years ago | (#33942458)

Outrage? I don't know, I would call myself outraged.

But I think the issue is that the individual apps have data sharing policies, which would be more restrictive than the warning I stopped at, and those policies were not respected. I have never gotten to that point, though, so I couldn't be outraged about that.

Re:Scary warning keeps me away (1)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | about 4 years ago | (#33942388)

The problem is that applications that your friends use can "share" (aka sell) your data. In Facebook, under Account -> Privacy Settings, click the "Edit your settings" link beneath "Applications and Websites", then click the "Edit Settings" on the "Info accessible through your friends" row. After you've unchecked all the boxes in a (probably futile) attempt to protect your privacy, check out this blurb just before you click Save Changes:

Your name, profile picture, gender, networks and user ID (along with any other information you've set to everyone) is available to friends' applications unless you turn off platform applications and websites.

Which is why I find this article amazing. Of course these applications "share" your data such as name and user ID - that's why they exist! Facebook hands over all your data to them on a silver platter; are they expected to not use it?

What is this "Facebook" of which you speak? (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34071990)

What is this "Facebook" of which you speak?

Is it some kind of computer thing?

For those not concerned about privacy (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34094238)

It's the cross-pollination of data that concerns me the most. You don't know where one link of your Facebook account will turn up. This is a Google example, but I HAD a YouTube account and after Google bought them out I got a prompt to share my Google login info, which I did. So, now the YouTube account that allowed me to semi-anonymously comment on videos, pick favorites, and rate those I liked is rolled into my Google "screw your privacy" profile. A few weeks ago, I log in to see that somehow Google had scanned my email folder for people I had email contacts with and displayed their YouTube videos under a "people your probably know" panel. One of these was a casual inquiry on an item I had for sale on Facebook! So, one careless link I made from one account to another had now opened up quite a bit of my personal life to any yahoo out there who I've exchange email with. Needless to say, I deleted that YouTube account and if I didn't have an Android phone I'd be deleting my Gmail account too.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?