Facebook hands more control over outside applications to users


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Facebook is rolling out a permission feature that requires outside applications and websites to inform its nearly 500 million users how much information they are sharing.

With the new feature, applications have access only to public parts of the profile such as name, profile picture and gender. They will have to seek a user’s permission to access private information from a profile.


Facebook first announced the change in August 2009 after privacy officials in Canada complained. The idea is to give users more control over what they share by forcing applications to explicitly ask them before accessing private information.

‘In order for these applications and websites to provide social and customized experiences, they need to know a little bit about you,’ Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor wrote in a blog post. ‘We understand, however, that it’s important you also have control over what you’re sharing. With this new authorization process, when you log into an application with your Facebook account, the application will only be able to access the public parts of your profile by default. To access the private parts of your profile, the application has to explicitly ask for your permission.’

-- Jessica Guynn

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