Following the scandals plaguing Facebook, the social media giant is changing some of its policies. The aim of the changes is to protect user’s data and stop unneeded access being given to apps and services. The company is changing its events API, groups API, pages API, Facebook login, Instagram platform API, search and account recovery, call and text history, data providers and partner categories and app control.
What Facebook are doing
In terms of the events API, app will no longer have access to private information such as guest lists or posts on the wall. Group apps, that were not as private at people thought, will have access to the member’s list and personal information attached to post or comments.
Too much information
Facebook admits it pages API was allowing too much information for collection by apps and third parties. Now, Facebook will need to give permission to apps and third parties to view and collect data. With the Facebook login, apps and third parties will have their ability to look at religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, education and work history, fitness activity, book reading activity, music listening activity, news reading, video watch activity, and games activity. This set of data is a lot and not something many apps need. The data collection was granting permission of the apps to investigate the friend’s profiles without the explicit permission of the one not using the app. Besides the change in this policy, developers will not be able to gain access to data if a user has not used the app in three months.
Searches and transparency
When searching for people on Facebook, users will no longer be able to search for people using their phone numbers or emails. What Facebook says was happening is that third parties were using phone numbers and emails to find account and scrap together information on users. With its call and text history feature, Facebook will not collect the content of messages and will delete information older than one year and call logs will not be kept. Users will still have their most contacted people collected.
Data providers and partner categories will be not be available any more with the feature being shut down complete. Regarding transparency, Facebook users will be given a link to find out what apps they use and what data is collected about them. An interesting addition will be the ability for users to find out what information has been shared with Cambridge Analytica.