Bret Taylor, the Chief Technology Officer of Facebook, announced this week on the Facebook Blog that the company will enhance privacy protections pertaining to third-party applications. When a Facebook user logs into a third-party application with his or her Facebook account, the application will only be able to access the public parts of the user’s Facebook profile. If the application wants to access private sections of a user’s Facebook profile, the application has to explicitly ask the Facebook user for permission. For example, if a greeting card application wants to access a user’s photos to create a personalized greeting card, the Facebook user will have to click a button to allow such access.
In his announcement, Mr. Taylor stated that the changes “reflect two core Facebook beliefs: first, your data belongs to you; second, it should be easy to control what you share. If at any point you ask a developer to remove the data you’ve granted them access to, we require that they delete this information.” The changes come in the wake of scrutiny by both legislators and privacy organizations regarding privacy protections on the social networking website.