Facebook launches notifications for third party access

Photo: Getty

Even if you are an unconditional # DeleteFacebook-er, you are probably guilty of using your worn out Facebook account to log into the occasional application, just for the convenience factor. Now, the company offers a little more information on how these tools work.

in a Company blog post announcing the launch of “Login Notifications”, software engineer Puxuan Qi explained that users will now receive notifications to remind them that third parties can view their information and that controls are available to restrict the amount of personal data they can collect. Notifications will come through a push of the Facebook application and an associated email each time the user:

  • Log in to a third-party application with Facebook Login and grant the application access to your information.

or

  • Reuse the Facebook login to log in to a third-party application after access to the information in an application has expired.

Qi also rushed to notice that these alerts will give Facebook users “a clear path” to edit the data exchange settings for third-party applications.

An example of the notification users will receive.
Screenshot: Facebook

It is a release that achieves two things simultaneously. First, play in the push of the company to clear your bad reputation when it comes to privacy conversations. (And maybe he can even be perceived as a good guy … someday).

Second, it serves as a reminder that Facebook is not just the Big Blue application, nor are they just their subsidiaries, Instagram and Whatsapp. Rather, Facebook plays an important role in the basic architecture of the Internet. The Facebook login button, for example, is a basic convenience that is populating the pages of more than sixty thousand websites, according to the Builtwith analysis tool. When you start looking for other tools, such as Facebook Pixel, that number accumulates up to more than two million sites. And none of this is even touching the incalculable amount of applications that use similar basic analytical tools such as the Facebook or SDK software development kit.

What is somehow more ironic is that even if do not accept these services, Facebook is still collecting data about you. As the company explained in a Blog 2018 about your off-site data collection practices:

We use your IP address, browser / operating system information and the address of the website or application you are using to make these functions work. For example, knowing your IP address allows us to send the Like button to your browser and helps us to display it in your language. Cookies and device identifiers help us determine if you are logged in, which makes it easier to share content or use Facebook to log in to another application.

While this explanation is perfectly harmless, the fact that the pure act Visiting a website or opening an application with one of these tools (or others!) installed means that your IP address (and more!) is moved through the large Facebook data collection company. It doesn’t seem that this update touches that in the slightest.

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