How many applications do you have enabled on your Facebook account? Chances are over the course of the last few years you’ve probably downloaded quite a few – and many that you’ve already forgotten about. But your older applications may be sharing personal data you may not be aware of.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that applications in the past used to get tons of information about you and your friends. But this isn’t the case with newer applications that now require less personal information to work in full.
Applications created since 2009 allow you to prevent the sharing of your interests, friend list and other personal information. Facebook made these opt-out options available as part of a privacy agreement with the Canadian government.
The resulting privacy settings have enabled users to effectively regain control over their profiles. But, applications from before 2009 may still be allowing third party sites to access information about you or your friends.
I viewed my application settings and noticed some older apps (last used six months to a year ago), I was allowing the app to access my contact information, photos, videos, and my friends’ information. I had no idea I was allowing all of this to leak through until I saw an article about it on the PBS website.
If you have any applications that date back a while too, you might be inadvertently oversharing with third parties. So here’s what you can do: Delete the old application and then download a newer version, which should require less information sharing.
Refresher course: To delete an application, go to the privacy settings, then click on “edit your settings” under the applications and websites area. From there you can view your current list of apps, and delete the ones you no longer want. Do this by clicking the “x” in the top right hand corner.
How concerned are you about whether applications can access your information or that of your friends?