The Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin and Jeremy Singer-Vine wrote an article called “Selling You On Facebook” where the headline said “Many popular Facebook apps are obtaining sensitive information about users?and users’ friends?so don’t be surprised if details about your religious, political and even sexual preferences start popping up in unexpected places.” Does Facebook harvest your data? Yes. Can you control it? Yes, but their article does not really mention how.
TechCrunch wrote a rebuttal saying that sensationalizing the dangers of online privacy can drive page views and ad revenue, but it can also impede innovation and harm the business of honest software developers.
Every app you install on Facebook asks you how much specific information you want to allow that app to use. Even after installing the app on Facebook, you can modify the privacy settings of each app afterwards. To get to the privacy features area, click on the blue arrow at the top right and select “Privacy Settings.”
From there go to the “app and websites section” and click on “edit settings.” One of the most important sections is “How people bring your info to apps they use.” To prevent your information from getting pulled into the apps that your friends use, click on “Edit Settings” and remove the checkmarks from information that you do not want to have collected.
You will also notice a section called Apps You Use. This is where you can modify the settings for every app that you have given permission to. You can remove apps from there if you do not want certain information being pulled.
I have no problem with The Wall Street Journal making people paranoid about their personal information being at risk. This is what keeps social media companies on their toes in terms of providing privacy settings. I do have a problem with The Wall Street Journal not providing information about all of the available privacy settings after bashing on Facebook and other mobile services repeatedly in the article.