IT Classroom
Manage Your Privacy 25
  • 友善列印版本

    03/2018

    What happens when you log in on a mobile or a web app with Facebook Login?

     

    Recently, news about the London-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica has shocked the public over claims that it illegally gathered information from millions of Facebook users in order to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  

     

    The story started in 2014 when 270,000 people answered a questionnaire from an academy about their personality. The quiz app harvested the data of some 50 million users without their explicit consent via their friends’ network. The data was sold to Cambridge Analytica, which has denied using any of the information in the election campaign.

     

    As users of Facebook or other social networks, what are the lessons learned and what should we do?

     

    Priced-in Personal Data by Default

    Many free mobile or web apps allow us to log in with Facebook or another social network account directly. However, many people are sharing their personal data on social networks too much for the sake of functionality or convenience. Some even say that the people who do this deserve what they get. There is no free lunch - if you are not paying for it (a service), you are not the customer, you are the product.

     

    Also, do you realize who our personal data is given to and what is it when we log in on a Facebook account? 

     

    Permissions with Facebook Login

    (Picture 1) When we log in on an app via Facebook Login, it requests permission to access our information. We tried a similar quiz web app with Facebook Login. How will you look like as a Hollywood Star?

     

    When we click Continue with Facebook Login, it is equivalent to surrendering our:

    • Public profile
    • Friends list
    • Timeline post
    • Photos

     

    (Picture 2) The public profile is necessary to provide by default. However, it gets extra information, especially Friends lists.

     

    User Control

    In Login

     

    (Picture 3) We can click Edit this to uncheck permissions being granted.  

     

    (Picture 4) Where is the item Photos? You need to scroll down.

     

    (Picture 5) However, most of the apps state that permission is necessary in order to function. Please test to see if it functions properly without the permission.  Consider carefully if the app makes it necessary for you to provide further permission and also the creditworthiness of the provider or developer.

     

    After Login

    (Picture 6) We can log in to Facebook directly to edit or remove the app through the settings. 

     

    (Picture 7) Click the pencil icon to edit ViraLemon permission or X to remove it directly.

     

    To conclude, we can protect our data on Facebook by: 

    • Keeping an eye on apps permission for Facebook Login, which is especially designed to pick up your data 
    • Check regularly to edit or remove an app permission in the Facebook setting
    • Check the privacy setting regularly

     

    In general, you should pay attention to any apps, including web or mobile apps, for permission and information access. Both iOS an Android (6 after) provide permission control for apps. Do not forget the traditional privacy setting. It usually controls people or groups for information access.

     

    Sharing too much or misconfiguring privacy settings may spread your personal data multiple times (due to nature of friends networking). It is scattered across many different points in webs, apps and cloud storages. There are chances that people will aggregate all the information, just like the Facebook app via the friends list. Think before you provide any information and whether it is necessary.

     

    Internet data is PERMANENT. If you don’t do it right at the beginning, your footprint remains there forever even if you try to correct it later.

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