Skip to content

Trials and Tribulations

Just another WordPress.com weblog

f you visit certain sites while logged in to Facebook, an app for those sites will be quietly added to your Facebook profile. You don’t have to have a Facebook window open, you don’t need to be signed in to these sites for the apps to appear, there’s no notification, and there doesn’t appear to be an option to opt-out anywhere in Facebook’s byzantine privacy settings.

The apps appear to be related to Facebook’s latest sharing features and tools. The sites currently leaving this trail all have Facebook integration, and the list includes heavyweights such as the Gawker network of blogs, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNET, New York Magazine, and formspring.me.

It isn’t entirely clear what information these apps are pulling from user profiles or feeding back to Facebook. They aren’t automatically visible to friends viewing your profile page, but if you go to an application’s profile page, you can see a list of your friends who also have that app installed, essentially getting a unintentional peek at their browsing habits. On the other side there are sites like the Washington Post’s, which has a Facebook Network News box showing a list of your friends who have recently shared a Washington Post article on Facebook.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: