General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Why do apps on facebook require access to your personal information and more?

Asked by AshlynM (6380 points ) July 15th, 2011

Isn’t there a way around this? I don’t see what any of your personal information or access to your friend’s list has to do with making the app work.

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13 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

Because selling on that information is the only way they can make money? (that is meant more as another question than an actual answer)

Hibernate's avatar

If you want to bypass that just add random infos on your accounts.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Psst… Don’t tell anyone but I opened up a crap account specifically for that purpose. There is no way I will give out my friends’ information. I don’t feel I have the right to do that.

laureth's avatar

The information is used, for example, to put your little picture icon in the game, or to “send gifts” to your friends or whatever. They’re social games on a social network.

Also, I suspect that they monetize the information somehow. They’re not generally writing games for fun, they like to get paid for their work.

funkdaddy's avatar

Facebook developers are actually forbidden from monetizing the data they receive. Forbidden may be putting it strongly but it’s against the terms they agree to in several different ways and if your business is developing social apps, having facebook throw you off is pretty damaging to your business.

From their Platform Policies

__You will not directly or indirectly transfer any data you receive from us, including user data or Facebook User IDs, to (or use such data in connection with) any ad network, ad exchange, data broker, or other advertising or monetization related toolset, even if a user consents to such transfer or use. By indirectly we mean you cannot, for example, transfer data to a third party who then transfers the data to an ad network. By any data we mean all data obtained through use of the Facebook Platform (API, Social Plugins, etc.), including aggregate, anonymous or derivative data.__

So developers usually want to access your information and your friends for two big reasons. One, so they can personalize the game. And two, because the main way they get people to play their games or use their apps is by broadcasting that you’ve tried it or putting progress updates in your feed.

Seeing ”funkdaddy is playing Fluther til’ Dawn and just got the sea-cheetah badge” is like an implied recommendation from me.

downtide's avatar

Collecting and selling your data is how Facebook makes money. You are not Facebook’s customer. Facebook’s customer is the advertiser who pays for your data. You are the product.

I don’t think app developers are able to do so but they’re certainly after monetising somehow. Bejewelled Blitz encourages you to purchase “coins”, or other Popcap games, for example. For some it might just be encouraging you to visit a website (like Fluther). For apps where there is no apparent advertising or advantage, I’d be suspicious that there’s something dodgy going on behind the scenes.

tranquilsea's avatar

You are, in eyes of corporations, a bunch of data to be culled, sorted and then advertised to.

Facebook may firmly and severely warn companies to not profit from the information they absolutely require you give up before they allow you to play their games but I really doubt that these companies are abiding by that. If they were why wouldn’t they put in an option at sign up to not hand all your and your friends personal information to them for safekeeping? I mean they aren’t going to do anything with it anyway, right?

I don’t play those games. I was pissed off when I read their privacy policy, or should I say anti-privacy policy.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Because they sell it to whomever they can (& it is a long list).

Bagardbilla's avatar

I don’t worry at all about sharing any of my data with anyone… so long as it’s from my fake FB account. ;)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hey, @Bagardbilla. I’ll friend your fake FB if you friend mine.

Bagardbilla's avatar

@worriedguy…and then we can pretend to be friends by faining interest in one another when we check into starbucks, we can recommend one another fake friends and be like almost everyone else on FB! ;)
sounds like the begenning of a beautiful ‘fainship’!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ll post pictures of my totally awesome haul at the Gap and you can send me your music picks. We can both ignore each other. Perfect.
Say the word, buddy, and I’ll send you my friend request. My fakebook page only has two other friends and can use the business..

Bagardbilla's avatar

@worriedguy hey, it’s Bagardbilla ofcourse! :)
just don’t expect me to update my status or check-in here and there… ;)

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