Facebook's new log-in procedures: leave your data at the door

At their F8 Developers conference today, Facebook is taking on some interesting privacy issues. They've announced users can now use Facebook to log-in to apps anonymously, giving them the ability to leave all private info some apps want to know about them at the door. The social giant is also allowing us to give apps permission in piecemeal portions, should we use Facebook as our log-in solution.

The blunt anonymity angle is unique, in that Facebook is using their log-in service as a stopgap for hacks. Often times, information is culled form apps that don't have good security protocols in place. By allowing us to become "anonymous", Facebook takes the risk away from app Developers that may not have the time, energy, or resources to properly secure information they pull from us via "permissions".

Should you need or want an app to know a little about you, Facebook is allowing you to give permissions to apps with total granular control. While permissions are often used by app developers for a purpose, sometimes their reasoning for wanting to know your information is opaque. Sure, a messaging app needs to know your contacts, but why does it need other info? Soon, you'll be able to pick and choose what you allow an app to know about you — should you use Facebook to log-in.

The two moves to safeguard your personal info are interesting. We've not yet become accustom to allowing Facebook to serve as a service that safeguards our info, and while both of their new protocols are great on paper — we eyeball them carefully to find the angle. It turns out the angle may be advertising, making Facebook a strong back-end solution rather than an upfront social layer.

Though your info is kept as private as you like from apps, Facebook proper still knows a lot about you. As they're expected to gear up for an ad business to market directly to us in apps, these log-in procedures could naturally dovetail into their monetization strategy, making them a tidy all-encompassing service layer for Developers.

Facebook knows our info while the app doesn't, and Facebook can sell ads to the Developer — which will display in the app itself. We're secure knowing the app either considers us anonymous or knows little about us, but Facebook still makes a neat profit and tucks a Developer under their wing. We feel comfortable, everyone makes money, and our information is likely more secure.

Via: The Next Web