Facebook thinks twice on giving dev access to phone, address data

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:57 am

Facebook has put off its plan to allow developers access to users’ phone numbers and home addresses. The company posted an update on its Developer Blog Tuesday morning, saying that it got “useful feedback” about the decision and that it would be making changes so that it’s clearer when users are about to share such sensitive info. As a result, the “feature” is being turned off until a better solution is found.

Privacy advocates got up in arms after the company announced that developers would be able to access a whole new level of personal info through its API, as long as the users gave them permission. Security firm Sophos issued a solemn warning on its blog about the move; the firm pointed out that Facebook app developers already manage to trick users into giving them access to personal data, and the situation will only get worse with real addresses and phone numbers in the mix.

Less-than-honest developers could use the data to spam users via SMS or sell their info to marketers, and could even expose them to theft or physical attacks. And even though Facebook would likely pull access to any apps that break the rules, that usually happens after the fact


3 Responses to “Facebook thinks twice on giving dev access to phone, address data”

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