Protect Your Privacy Against These Facebook Tricks



We all use Facebook apps for one reason or another, but you may have granted those apps and their creators access to your personal information without even realizing it.  Thanks to a handful of redesigns, it is harder than ever to tell exactly what you’re agreeing to when you start using a new app.

1. A Single Button

Instead of giving you a choice between a button that allows access to private information and a button that does not, Facebook apps now use a single button that grants you access to the app and the app access to your information.

2. Tiny Gray Font

Let’s be honest, most of us ignore the fine print, especially when it blends into the background of the page.  Facebook apps are using that to their advantage and using that tiny gray font to tell you what permissions you are about to grant.

3. Hidden Symbol

Rather than explaining what information you are agreeing to grant an app access to, an app launch page now features a nearly indiscernible question mark that links to that information.  Most users never see it and agree to give access to information without even knowing it.

4. The Action Line

Most users find the “main action button”, usually the one that says “Play Now” and is brightly colored, and ignore anything below it.  Facebook has utilized that area under the main action button, which is often overlooked, for important information about your loss of privacy.

5. Friendly Jargon

Facebook’s App Center previously used language that made it clear you were granting access to personal information.  Now, rather than a headline of “Request for Permission” and buttons labeled “Allow” and “Don’t Allow”, there is simply a large blue button that says “Play Game”.

Avi Charkham, head of Product and Design at Lool Ventures, has more information in his article at TechCrunch.


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