Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Facebook removes home address and phone number permissions

Just last week, Facebook added permissions for home address and phone numbers for Facebook Connect and Application developers. You would get the usual Allow and Deny prompt as you normally get, but if the developer wanted, they could ask for your home address and phone numbers too. And if you were not careful to read it, you would potentially give it away.

Douglas Purdy from the Facebook Developer Blog writes that they have temporarily taken that functionality away.

Facebook put that feature in in order to help you "easily share your address and mobile phone with a shopping site to streamline the checkout process" or "sign up for up-to-the-minute alerts on special deals directly to your mobile phone".

It started what looked to me like a mini startup of backlashes and a barrage of tech blogs warning people about it. Examples are this and this.

Douglas writes in the blog post:
"Over the weekend, we got some useful feedback that we could make people more clearly aware of when they are granting access to this data. We agree, and we are making changes to help ensure you only share this information when you intend to do so."
He says that they'll be releasing updates soon. I am hoping for a complete revamp of the permissions box that comes up. Because if they're changing one in the list, they have to change the rest.