Why You Shouldn't Bother Doing Facile Facebook Quizzes

By Jamie Condliffe on at

When everyone around you is Facebook quizzing, sometime’s it can be hard to resist the lure of joining in yourself. But next time, breathe deeply and move on, and keep in mind these following privacy implications.

You’ve probably seen your friends announcing their most-used words on Facebook, having happily granted a word cloud app access to their accounts. But UK-based company Comparitech decided to look at exactly which details the app was grabbing, and it’s a long and intrusive list, including: your name, your birthdate, hometown, education details, all your Likes, photos, browser, language, your IP address and your friends list. Worth telling people which words you use a lot now?

It’s not just a one-time hit, either. The company that produced the word cloud app, Vonvon.me, has some questionable conditions in its privacy policy. Those include the fact that even if you terminate your account with it, it’s still allowed to continue using your data, as well as maintaining the right to store the data on any server around the world. And the wording of the privacy policy itself counts as a notification to the user that it also has the rights to sell on your data. So as soon as you use it, you wave goodbye to possession of the data.

You can tweak the access that third-party apps are granted in Facebook of course. But as Engadget notes, this word cloud app doesn’t seem to work if you use restrictive settings.

It’s all too easy to breeze through one of these quizzes without reading a single word of the privacy policy, or the data you’re sharing with the third party as a result. But this should be a pretty clear reminder that it’s often best to simply ignore them — however many of your friends seems to enjoying them. [Comparitech via Engadget]

Image by Franco Bouly under Creative Commons licence

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