Facebook Now Lets Apps Grab Your Address, Phone Number

Analysts fear benefits for 'rogue' applications
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 9:40 AM CST
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Facebook is making users' addresses and cell phone numbers available to third-party developers, the site announced Friday on its blog. Users who accept the terms and conditions attached to a Facebook app while downloading it will be letting that app's makers see their contact information if they’ve posted it to their profiles, the Telegraph reports. It’s “a recipe for disaster, given the prevalence of rogue scam applications already on Facebook,” says a tech consultant.

These applications function purely to spam users and dig up information about them, the consultant adds. Sure, users have to give permission for developers to see their data—but "we already know many users don't bother reading the small print," he notes. Adds another expert: “While people are not paying with money” to use Facebook, "they will have to pay with their data instead." But no need to worry, says a Facebook rep: "As an additional step for this new feature, you're not able to share your friends' address or mobile information." Gee, thanks.

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