Facebook can be a polarizing device, especially when it comes to the hundreds of apps that blow up our newsfeed on a daily basis. I’m not sure why my friends think I’d have the capabilities to mend their virtual sheep in Farmville or that I wouldn’t attempt to steal their maidens in Castleville but every day like clockwork I get the request. If you’ve ever accidentally clicked on one of these requests or more morbidly…accepted one on purpose, you may have noticed Facebook asks to use your private information. While this can initially be an intrusive request, you’ll see that Facebook asks us for private information supposedly for our own good.
Facebook apps ask us for our private information to apparently give us a more personalized experience. When they first ask to allow access to our private information, images conjure up of them selling our phone numbers and email addresses to hordes of telemarketers lined up like day traders on Wall Street. Actually, the information they want to access is simply the statistics of that particular application. For instance, a certain Facebook app might access your age and country of origin to make sure the content is appropriate and catered to something you’d actually understand.
Facebook apps also ask for our private information to share your progress with friends who use the same app. If you play the word “XQXXQX” in Words With Friends and it somehow goes through, the app will share your 80-point word score with others. The apps also access your scores and totals so that friends can track your progress and figure ways to cheat to beat your point accumulation.
As you can see, when Facebook apps ask for permission to access your information, they don’t necessarily have bad intent. That being said, you can always just select “no” when the apps ask to invade your territory.
Another way to make sure your privacy is protected is to block all 3rd party access.
1. To do this go to Facebook and access privacy settings.
2. Next go to ads, apps, and websites and select Edit settings.
3. From here you can choose to “block all third party content.”
After you change this setting, these apps won’t intrude on your privacy but you also won’t be able to use them. Also, you’ll still get those annoying notifications so your best bet is to delete all Farmville players from your friends list…or at least lose their E-sheep when you watch them for the weekend.