Selling You on Facebook: New Privacy Trends in the Digital Age

  • While apps may cost only a few dollars and many are free, users are increasingly required to “pay” with personal information. This can include email addresses, current location, work history, birthdays — even sexual preferences, and religious and political affiliations. Moreover, some apps require users to disclose the personal information of their friends as well.
  • App developers are compiling large databases of user information to be used by advertisers, app makers and other unspecified users — which are often not disclosed.
  • While Facebook requires apps to ask for permission before accessing personal information, that does not always happen. And Facebook does not always enforce their own privacy rules.
  • Interestingly, apps that frequently ask for permission are disregarded by users as they get increasingly accustomed to the alerts.
  • “Up until a few years ago, such vast and easily accessible repositories of personal information were all but nonexistent. Their advent is driving a profound debate over the definition of privacy in an era when most people now carry information-transmitting devices with them all the time,” reports the Wall Street Journal.