Last Friday Facebook announced that the applications would be able to access its users’ addresses and mobile phone numbers. After a few days Facebook has blocked the initiative.
Facebook’s announcement was immediately followed by criticism and concern over possible abuses of this new possibility. The request of data access that is presented at an applicazione activation was modified by adding an explicit request to allow the access to address and mobile phone number but the danger that dishonest people would immediately go to work to obtain user data for criminal purposes was really too much.
Now Facebook says it will reopen the possibility to access those pieces of data in a few weeks but making improvements to their management to ensure that users are aware of what they are doing when they give permission to use their data.
I suspect that this move by Facebook is due more to the risk of getting exposed to lawsuits than to the desire to protect users by its founder Mark Zuckerberg, anyway it’s important that the social network has responded to criticism by taking a step back.
Right now however Facebook promises are vague so we’ll have to see what changes will be made to the applications’ activation process. It’s utopian to hope that the average users will pay special attention when asked for permission to access their data thus adding a specific window with the request for access to their addresses and mobile phone numbers would lead many users to lose patience and just click on the approval commands without even looking at what’s written.
In the end it’s really true that the best way to keep private the data you don’t want to share is by not putting them in your profile.