After Facebook’s recent privacy breach left personal data of over 50 million users’ exposed I checked out the apps section on Facebook in a bid to see how many apps I’ve allowed to access my personal details and how to best ensure that they only access details I am comfortable with sharing.
I realised that a high number of these apps had access to my personal information including:
- My birthday
- Current City
- Personal description(bio,)
- Religious and political views
- Work history and Education History
- Status updates
If you update the above information with accuracy, the apps that you authorise to access your information can have a very clear picture of who you were and who you are. Of course, Facebook claims that the access to personal information is supposed to enable advertisers to offer ads that are more relevant to you and in that regard I guess that is useful.
At the end of the day with scandals such as the one rocking Facebook right now and the accusations that are being levelled against the Russians for socially engineering the 2016 US Election result through Facebook, many other people(myself included) can’t help but feel like the trade-offs are not entirely worth what you are giving away. Yes, getting relevant ads is cool but not if it comes at the risk of having personal data exposed. Well, that’s my view at least.
How to filter out the information you give to apps
If you’re among the users who can’t help but feel like you have to look over your shoulder (not literally anyway 😉 ) as you use Facebook, here is how you can filter some of the information that you give to apps.
Whilst logged in to Facebook:
- Go to the top-right corner and you’ll find a drop-down menu with a Settings options
- On the settings page there is a panel to the left of the page. Under this panel go to the Apps section.
- Once in the apps section you can select all the apps on an app-by-app basis and you can tick/untick all the permissions you would like a specific app to access from your profile.
Being in Zimbabwe some users are not really concerned by their privacy settings and others actually prefer giving the information away to get curated content. Which group are you part of? Will you be revising the permissions you give to Facebook apps or are you unbothered