Friday, August 19, 2011

Facebook and Automatic Granting of Permissions to Applications via Mobile Devices

I make it a policy of conduct not to install any Facebook application or grant any Facebook apps rights to my Facebook account. Call me paranoid (many have).
So, needless to say, I was surprised when I was looking at my settings page under application how many applications I seem to have granted access.
There they were, a little more than half a dozen apps that seem to have access to my information and friends, not remembering, having granted any of them the right to do so.
This baffled me to no end. How did this happen?

Well, the only thing that seemed to be a common pattern for these apps is that I had loaded similarly named application on my iPhone from the Appstore. Ahh, yes, here is where the plot thickens. Thus the best I can explain this is that the terms of acceptance of these apps includes that they can access my Facebook profile. Thus, if they detect the Facebook app loaded on your device they establish connection and register themselves as authorized apps with Facebook.

I might get this all completely wrong, but this is the only explanation I can come up with, since I got this policy of no apps etc.

Yes, some of you may now say that I was too trusting a soul, and this, too, might be true, so I am now checking more regularly to see whether I am being hoodwinked into approving this type of behavior.

I am now checking regularly what the Facebook app settings page looks like (see below) and killing the permissions. I truly wish that FB had explicit lock on this type of stuff as this is very sneaky behavior in my opinion.



As usual would appreciate some feedback.

Cheers,
-B.