Quiz Facebook: Will We Have Control over Our Own Information?

Today, in response to an inquiry by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Facebook announced plans to enhance user privacy over the next year. Some of these plans address third party applications, like quizzes and games, that have access to a lot of your personal information.

Wondering what this is all about? Concerned about your privacy on Facebook?

If you’re a Facebook user, check out the ACLU of Northern California's very own quiz.  It’s a behind-the-scenes look at all the personal details a Facebook app can collect about you and your friends – and some steps you can take to keep your private information from landing in the wrong hands (including changing your own privacy settings)!

(And, yes, we know it's a little weird to warn you about Facebook quizzes by asking you to take a Facebook quiz – but at least you know who we are and that we are committed to living up to our privacy policy, unlike many quiz authors who haven't posted a privacy policy at all!)

Today’s Facebook Quizzes Get a Failing Grade for Privacy

Even if your Facebook profile is "private," when you take a quiz, an unknown quiz developer could be getting access to almost everything in your profile:  your religious views, sexual orientation, political affiliation, pictures, and groups. Facebook quizzes also have access to most of the info on your friends’ profiles. This means that if your friend takes a quiz, they could be giving away your personal information too. (But, again, don’t just take our word for it: take our quiz and see for yourself!)

And Facebook’s current restrictions on the collection and use of personal information by applications are simply inadequate. Although Facebook’s Terms of Service require that applications limit the collection and use of information, enforcing terms like these is really difficult. That means that random developers who choose to ignore the Terms of Service could potentially sweep up vast amount of personal information about you and your friends – and once they’ve collected it, they could easily sell it, share it, or even turn it over to the government. This is a major privacy hole, and Facebook needs to take stronger steps to address this problem than just writing a sentence in a rarely-read document.

Facebook Responds – But We Still Need Your Help

In response to the Privacy Commissioner’s investigation, Facebook has committed to taking several steps to improve user privacy. As part of these changes, Facebook needs to ensure that users are truly in control of their own information. That means changing the default privacy settings so that each user, and not that user’s friends, can decide whether to share her information with a third-party application.

That's where you come in. Learn what you can do to protect yourself right now - and help us pressure Facebook to make meaningful changes in the coming months!

Don't let Facebook's default settings force you to silently pay with your privacy when you – or your friends – use Facebook. Demand that Facebook upgrade its privacy controls to give you control of your personal info. Demand Your dotRights!

Add a comment (11)
Read the Terms of Use

Warren

And, yes, we know it’s a little weird to warn you about Facebook quizzes by asking you to take a Facebook quiz – but at least you know who we are

Yeah you are the ones showing photos of CIA agents to terrorist Yeah I know who you are

Facebook user

I took this quiz. After that I changed my privacy settings in facebook. Then I took the quiz again. And still it showed the same information as examples.

Didn't I change all the settings I have to change or do you also keep my information?

Facebook user

So do you keep my information?

Chris Conley, A...

Hi Facebook user:

We don't retain any information when you take our quiz - not even the fact that you took the quiz!

There are two things to know about Facebook quizzes:

1) If you take a quiz, you are granting that quiz access to most of your profile information. Your application privacy settings do not apply to quizzes and apps that YOU use, only to quizzes and apps that YOUR FRIENDS use. Thus, no matter what your privacy settings are, our quiz - and any other app - has access to your own information when you use it.

2) If you take a quiz, that quiz has access to any of your friends' profiles if those friends have not opted out by using the application privacy settings. By changing your privacy settings, you can prevent your friends' quizzes from accessing your information - but that does not prevent your quizzes from accessing your friends' information.

Facebook has recently promised to make it easier for you to take a quiz yourself without surrendering control of your personal information; however, Facebook also needs to make it easier for you to control your own information when your friends take a quiz. We appreciate your support in this continuing effort!

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dylan

perhaps it's a smart idea not to fill in too much personal info anyways, never give your real name and address etc, why wanna put that online? your real friends know it anyways and your 'friends' don't need to know it.
why would fb wanna let others use this info? to get out of the red numbers they need to sell it right?

ameriKKKa

LAND OF THE FREE HOME OF THE SLAVE.

THIS IS A "FREE-COUNTRY." MY ASS.

USA

Land of the free home of the slave.

Care Net and th...

John Kerry said "You can be certain and be wrong." This is how I feel about myself after having worked in the pro life ministry for over 9 years for CareNet and their affiliate pro life pregnancy centers as a software vendor.

I believe that personal information between a client and her counselor should never leave the room. My client intake software is designed to store data on-site at the center so that I never see it. No one has any business seeing personal information except a client and her counselor.

Does CareNet feel this way? They seem to exclusively invite or give preferential treatment to internet based client intake software companies like ekyros.com and waycool software at their conferences. Hundreds of their affiliate pregnancy centers use the internet based ekyros.com client intake software. Do these centers make clients think that their pregnancy history and other confidential information will never leave the room, then turn around and enter it online and put it into the hands of outside internet company employees? It seems personal client information leaves the center and gets into the hands of ekyros employees without the client’s knowledge.

I am losing my business because I will not change my software to send client data outside the walls of the center. A client already has enough on their mind. They do not need their right to privacy violated.

I don't care about losing my company. The client's right to confidentiality is more important than my business.

I only bring up the point to say that I worked for CareNet and their centers for years for 15 thousand a year and without health benefits and now my wife and I are in danger of going under. My wife is ADHD and her medicine is expensive. My situation has convinced me that maybe CareNet and their affiliates don't respect the women who visit them. I believe this because they have no respect for my wife and I even though we worked for them for years without medical benefits barely above the poverty line. I believe they won't help the girls after they have their child and people say they have proved this time and again. My situation just helped bring this fact home to me through personal experience.

CareNet and their pro life affiliates treated my wife and I like a non-person.

Do their affiliates do anything to help the young girls who visit them stay off welfare. These pro lifers seem to wash their hands when the child has to grow up in low income housing projects and do nothing to keep the child from turning to crime to support the household. I would guess many voted for Bush who believes in tough prison sentences instead of providing educational and other programs to help ensure that these youth do not turn to crime in the first place.

How about CareNet's financials? They take in millions a year. Their president makes over 100,000 a year. The financials seem to show that they give 0$ back to their affiliates or to the girls they say they serve.

Ask a center who uses ekyros.com if it bothers them that they promise absolute confidentiality to the client and then place the client's information in the hands of the employees of an outside internet company. Ask them if they inform the client where their information is going? You may be convinced that the client is a non-person to them and (in their eyes) doesn't even deserve the basic respect of asking the client whether they are comfortable with their personal information leaving the center.

All this is just to say that when the pro choice people say the pro life centers are deceptive and don't respect and look out for the welfare of the client in the long run, is it possible they have a point in the case of Care Net and some of their centers? I don’t want to believe it, but my wife and I were treated pretty poorly for a long time.

Care Net has certainly not watched our backs. We came very close to being on the street while their leadership made over 100,000 dollars a year...

GS

Facebook as a private entity has no obligation to keep information private that the user volunteers to make public by taking a quiz or survey, In fact users are warned that thier info will be made public when participating in a quiz. Isn't the ACLU's job to protect us from intrusive government? ACLU shut up and do your job!

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