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365, Social

Day 027: Facebook Apps

Facebook integration into other services is so, so easy and so, so useful. Yet do we pay attention to the permissions we’ve given those applications?

App Permissions:

Under Account Settings there is an option called Apps.
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Here you’ll find every external item that you have given permission to access your account.
You may be surprised to learn some of the things that count as not being part of Facebook. All those Games, Fortune Cookies and the like, essentially have nothing to do with Facebook directly – it is simply their chosen medium, the ocean in which these social fish live and swim.
If your list is anything like mine it is a long, long list. Select anyone of them and the resultant sub-list is what permissions you have given this application.
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This is potentially a very long list. Facebook allows third party applications permission to access almost any or all your data but only if you have given your consent.
You didn’t? Alas, it is more than likely you did. Remember that little popup telling you that “Mafia Wars” was connecting to your account? Or in my case “Flixster” or “Starfleet Commander“…
Click on any Application and a whole bundle of permissions will appear here.
ANy optional permission you’re not happy with can be removed with the “Remove” button next to it.

Remove Application:

Regardless of any permissions the application does or does not have, if you do not recognise it or no longer use it, remove it.
If you find something doesn’t work later you can always re-authorise it.
Simply Click Remove App and confirm the action at the prompt.
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Re-Authenticating Applications:

All Facebook applications can be found by searching for them by name in the search field at he top of the page.
So if you want to re-add something then it isn’t too tricky.
Gives us a chance to see those Permission request screens again too!
I search for and select “Starfleet Commander“.
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Install is a misnomer in this case. It’s an access permission request. Other Applications will differ and may take you to external sites but the general layout of the Permissions screen will be the same. You can see the permissions that the application Requires in order to operate.
Click Install to accept these.
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This screen shows you the Optional permissions that the Application is requesting. These won’t prevent the app
Location working so it is up to you if you accept them or remove them (with the cross at the edge of each permission). Continuing will take you to the selected Application.
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Return to the Account Settings, Apps page and you’ll notice something odd.
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The newly installed Application does not have nearly as many permissions as it did before! (you can see how many “Starfleet Commander” had from the ‘remove’ example above.). Many of them were previously Required?
This is because both the applications and Facebook get better at honing down permissions as time goes on. Later versions of apps often request fewer permissions. A result I think of both the Application programmers and Facebook being more realistic.

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About harlekwinblog

"Thoughts of an idle mind." Information Security professional.

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