Facebook Apps and Your Data


Signing up and using Facebook is equivalent to filling out the most personal survey imaginable; but even if this is the case, and Facebook has all of our information we all still use it (or most of us still use it) because there is nothing else like it and we’re hooked.

Because of Facebook’s Open Graph API  third party applications and plug-ins have access to user data, upon granted access. Facebook itself has unlimited, unrestricted access to everything a user does and posts on the website and pages. Though these applications need permission, once they gain permission, Game On (sometimes literally). For example Zynga’s FarmVille, Texas HoldEm Poker, and Cafe World, etc.- once accepted, the applications gets access to the user’s profile data

HOW IT WORKS: Once accepted, the application runs through an HTML element (inline frame) that lets the app be used via Facebook. Originally, once the user accepted personal data would be automatically and directly sent to the application/third-party servers for storage. One of Facebook’s requirements was that the third-party’s server must refresh the data gathered from Facebook every 24 hours. Since then, Facebook has done away with that and now outside parties are able to store the person data for even longer periods of time. Just that one click gives them access- think about it.

From the articles read, there was a sense that the prior required data refreshing by the third-parties after every 24 hours would allow for those individuals who cancel and restrict those apps to cut off third-party use of that personal data. After the revision of Facebook regulations, it seems that these third-party apps are now able to hold on to user information for longer periods of time. Facebook on the other hand, can and will access your personal data even after you cancel your Facebook account. The reason for this continues access (according to Facebook) is that if the user ever decides to reactivate their account all their prior information will be readily available and not lost forever.



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