Facebook apps collect surprising amount of personal information
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, The Wall Street Journal reports. An examination of 100 of the most popular Facebook apps by the newspaper found that some seek the email addresses, current location and sexual preference, among other details, not only of app users but also of their Facebook friends. One Yahoo service powered by Facebook even requests access to a person's religious and political leanings as a condition for using it. The popular Skype service for making online phone calls seeks the Facebook photos and birthdays of its users and their friends. This appetite for personal data reflects a fundamental truth about Facebook and, by extension, the Internet economy as a whole: Facebook provides a free service that users pay for, in effect, by providing details about their lives, friendships, interests and activities. Facebook, in turn, uses that trove of information to attract advertisers, app makers and other business opportunities. Capitalizing on personal data is a lucrative enterprise. Facebook is in the midst of planning for an initial public offering of its stock in May that could value the young company at more than $100 billion on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Read the full investigative story here.
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