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Facebook Allows One-click Access to User’s Data

Facebook made it possible for apps to read your home address and mobile telephone number. The new ”feature’ outlined the new ”user_address” and ”user_mobile_phone” permissions which developers can now hook into.

”Please note that these permissions only provide access to a user’s address and mobile phone number, not their friend’s addresses or mobile phone numbers,” he said.

In the “Request for Permission” window — the one you’ve to accept before using an app on the Facebook platform — look out for “Access my contact information”, with the subtitle “Current Address and Mobile Phone Number” (see image above). You’d think that such important details would deserve a bolder warning, instead of the usual faded gray — but obviously not.

Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley labelled the change a ”new level of danger” for Facebook users. With your full name and home address, identity theft basically becomes a no-brainer — and can you imagine the SMS spam that awaits the unlucky Facebooker that gives his phone number to the wrong app developer?

”If you’re seriously concerned about this and other changes to Facebook’s privacy settings, there’s only one way around them: Remove yourself from the network entirely. It’s not a move I advocate as I believe the site does more good than harm and that you’re only cutting yourself off from a large — and growing — part of our lives, but it is an option to consider,” he said. One Twitter user had a far more clever way to deal with the change.

”Since Facebook will now let apps access your address & number, I have set my no. to 650-543-4800 (FB Customer Service),” wrote Chris Miller.


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