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Monday, 05 December 2011 13:40

Boffins create Facebook warning

Written by Nick Farell



You are about to give your data away


Software boffins have created a simple interface that clearly shows what information you’re about to give a Facebook app access to.

At the moment if you sign up for a Facebook app you could end up giving the app writers shedloads of personal data. The sign-up interface was written by Penn State University researchers, who claim that Facebook app developers are making profits from their games and tools by selling or sharing the data with advertisers and other companies. The information could also be leaked to identity thieves.

Penn State assistant professor of information sciences and technology Heng Xu pointed out that although each app must provide a link to its terms and conditions, the consequences for your privacy settings were obscure. He said that the only way to find out how the information is going to be used is to go to each app's website and review the terms of use. And many people can't be bothered. The screen designed by the researchers lets members decide what types of information they are comfortable sharing and with whom they want to share it.

The boffins presented their findings at the Association for Computer Machinery Symposium on Computer Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology, Boston. Some people may know that they are allowing these companies to access their data, but they might not know that their info will be leaked through their friends, use of games and other applications on Facebook.

More here.


Nick Farell

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