John

I can’t get hip with the Web2.0 peeps, yo.

In Geek Stuff, Online on January 9, 2008 at 9:16 am

i can see you

This story and the earlier mess that was beacon is really beginning to become scary.

Facebook has blocked the “Secret Crush” widget for violation of its terms of service, following a row about the use of the application to dupe users into downloading adware onto their PCs.

Users tempted into installing the application were told they need to invite at least five friends. However, no secret crush is ever revealed. Instead users are directed to an external website which invites Facebook users to download potentially unwanted applications that display pop-up advertising software from Zango.

“Facebook is committed to user safety and security and, to that end, its Terms of Service for developers explicitly state that applications should not use adware and spyware. Users should employ the same precautions while downloading software from Facebook applications that they use when downloading software on their desktop. We have contacted the developers and have disabled the Secret Crush application for violating Facebook Platform Terms of Service,” it said.

Fortinet claimed that four per cent of Facebook’s users had installed the Secret Crush application by the time it was disabled.

As it is, I am already super averse to freely giving information about myself to shadowy companies and agencies who can then profile me and send me targeted adverts etc.

The thought of being profiled on some database someplace freaks me out. For no particular reason besides the fact that it is information about me and I did not knowingly agree to it being stored indefinitely and shared without further approval.

Alas, such views are generally incompatible with the current trends and social networking going on in the Internet. I have a minuscule amount of Facebook apps installed on my profile and am actually toying with the idea of quitting it altogether.

The thing isn’t so much that I don’t trust Facebook. I signed up for the account and I put all that info up there myself. However there are now literally hundreds, if not thousands, of 3rd parties that publish applications for Facebook that require access to all your personal info (for no obvious reason) along with information regarding who you’re friends with.

It’s a veritable treasure trove for advertising marketeering types. Also, even if you trust the publishers of these apps, what about 3rd parties that they (the publishers) make deals with? What happens when someone else buys the publisher up? Who owns your personal data now?

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